The Importance of Kindness During Travel

Getting ready for travel requires careful packing and making numerous checklists. Any experienced traveler will tell you what you shouldn’t forget: passport, tickets, money, snacks, first aid kit, and a camera. All of these items and more are incredibly important and should not be forgotten, but there’s always one thing we forget to bring with us: kindness. I’d like to think that travel can make us more tolerant and willing to assist others, but as posts from Adventurous Kate and Expat Edna will tell you, people are still close-minded and judgmental. I find this is true not only of travelers, but locals as well. Is there a way to make the world kinder? On Random Acts of Kindness Day, here are a few situations that have inspired me to think differently about how I travel and live: Continue Reading ›

Highlights of Northern China

In preparation for my journey to China, my supervisor, Su-Lin, eagerly instructs me on various Mandarin phrases.  Having learned small portions of a Cantonese dialect, my knowledge of Mandarin is limited.

“Brooke, how do you say ‘Hello’?” Su-Lin, my draper, asks.

“Ni Hao,” I reply.

“How do you say ‘My name is Brooke’?” Su-Lin says.

I pull out the only phrase in Mandarin I know: “Pang Yee Tah Mah, Brooke,” I respond with a smile.  Su-Lin laughs at my response, which translates to: “Can I have it cheaper, Brooke.”
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