re: shilo my god u won

14 01 2008

shilo my god u won

 …was the subject line I read around 9AM one Sunday morning, on a message from my boss Karen.

I was in a state of semi-sleep, existing in those few minutes between the time you get out of your bed and when you actually wake up. My intial morning ritual involves most of my addictions: caffeine (turn on coffeemaker), music (turn on itunes) and internet (check the email, the myspace, and the BBC to see if World War III has started overnight. I admit it; I am a product of the Information Age). So it was in this stupor that my squinty eyes made out the subject line and sender of the message. I knew immediately that I had won an adventure tour to a land far, far away. My stomach blew out of the top of my head and I started screaming and yelling, jumping and dancing. My neighbors love me.

I knew I just won a trip, but what I didn’t know was where that trip would go. The contest was given by Intrepid Travel, one of the small group adventure tour operators that we work with at The Adventure Travel Company.  Every new day required a new entry, a paragraph about why you wanted to travel to the destination. A trip a day was given away, and each morning I would choose a new adventure tour I wanted to win and type up an entry. Tanzania, Guatemala, Italy, India- I had entered so many times I couldn’t remember which country I chosen the day before. Quickly I searched on my laptop for yesterday’s messages, my heart pounding away as I scrolled down to see that I had entered to win a trip to…


Wow. China. I chose well. China is THE next travel industry superstar, the new superpower of the 21st century, and the home of the next Olympics. The ancient nation once termed “the Sleeping Dragon” has woken up, shaken the crust from its eyes, and is now looking around as hungry for information, entertainment, and consumption as I was that Sunday morning. I am fully stoked. I am going to China in 2008!

When will I go? Is the nightlife in Beijing as crazy as they say it is? Can I catch a glipmse of the Shaolin monks? Is the Great Wall really that hard to hike? Is it possible to train with the acrobats in Shanghai? Do the terracotta warriors of Xi’an look as scary in real life? How do you say “thank you” in Mandarin?

Stay tuned as I plan and live my next trip: WILD CHINA 2008

Shilo Urban (China National Tourist Office)




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