Weekend Travel Inspiration – Paulo Coehlo

Weekend Travel Inspiration  Paulo Coehlo

When I was planning my first foray into China, I was a little anxious.  Jim wasn’t going with me.  Instead I was going to travel just with Devon and Erika, who were teenagers at the time.  Three females traveling by themselves.  I was so unsure that I almost did sign us up for a tour.  I didn’t speak Mandarin (or any other Chinese language), and I was worried.  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t book a tour, but I was unsure of how it was going to go.

We flew into Shanghai where we were to change planes.  What I hadn’t understood was we were also changing airports, and we were spending the night there.  I had no idea.  There was an airport worker that without more than a few words in English told us, we were going to take a bus and they were putting us up in a hotel near the other airport.  Ok…  We just went with it.  What were we to do?  It was a little scary, but we didn’t feel unsafe just completely useless.

Needless to say, we had an amazing experience.  Even though communication was difficult, everything worked out.  We met wonderful people, and had the time of our lives.  It was a turning point in my life of travel.  I had always heard stories of communist China, of this ancient male-dominated, closed-off society.  It was worrisome.  I thought that it would be strange, foreign, different.  I worried that I would have many troubles, as a woman, as an American, all without the comfort of a tour guide telling me where to go, sleep, eat.  Instead I found inviting people, the sights amazing, a beautiful countryside, delicious food, and loaded up on memories of the “new”.

Now, whenever I head to a country that holds a bit of mystery, places like Mongolia or Moldova.  They are shrouded in the unknown.  It could be strange, but it isn’t.  Every country I’ve visited, every new culture, has been warm and welcoming, and immediately put me at ease.  Now, I crave the “new”.  There is no place on Earth that I won’t go!

Do I love Europe?  Absolutely, with all heart.  But, most of it isn’t new.  That’s why Jim and I are trying to explore as much of Eastern Europe as we can.  With only 20 years of independence from Soviet control, they are still emerging with their own personalities, and trying to reclaim their cultural traditions.  It’s a fascinating area, and we’re excited to be spending some time exploring them this summer!  I can’t wait!

How about you?  Do you find some places “strange”?  Are there some places you won’t travel?  Why? 


Now It’s Your Turn – Link and Peruse These Great Blogs! 

Weekend Travel Inspiration

Please include this badge on your post.  You can do this two different ways:

1. Copy and paste the image above, then link it to www.reflectionsenroute.com/weekend-travel-inspiration/

2. Copy the code below and paste it onto your post in “text” mode. This will put the picture and the link for you automatically.

<a href=”http://www.reflectionsenroute.com/weekend-travel-inspiration/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.reflectionsenroute.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/NewWkend3sm.jpg” alt=”” /></a>


One thing I love about travel blogging is the community of other like-minded people that I’ve met.  I love reading your travel stories and seeing all the fantastic photos you take.  I think sharing is such a big part of travel.

 Loading InLinkz ...

Ready, set, link! 

1. Link one of your inspirational travel photos or stories to this post by adding your info.

2. Copy and paste our badge and a link to this page.

3.  Visit some of the other wonderful travel bloggers, read their posts, and leave a comment.  It would be great if you could comment on 2-3 posts.

4.  Tweet it and include this hashtag. #wkendtravelinspiration .

5. Follow all the hosts of Weekend Travel Inspiration who are working hard to spread the word on what wonderful work travel bloggers are doing.


Check out these past Weekend Travel Inspirations!


And please do check out my amazing partners in #Wkendtravelinspiration!
TheCrowdedPlanet, ContentedTraveller, AlbomAdventures, Safari254, and FamiliesGo!


Are you on Pinterest or Instagram?  We’d love to connect.  Come on over and give us a holler!

Weekend Travel Inspiration Paulo Coehlo


  1. I will never forget the first time I travelled in China, it was overland from Hanoi by train and it was certainly very different! But like you, my friend and I met so many wonderful people even with very little language in common, we communicated with gestures and smiles and spent many days on trains as the only foreigners. I also love Eastern Europe, and was lucky enough to experience living there behind the iron curtain (as a Westerner) and have been in love with it ever since. Can’t wait for our trip to Poland this summer!
    Phoebe @ Lou Messugo recently posted…An evening walk in St Paul de VenceMy Profile

  2. Your story reminds me of my own China travel story. I was supposed to visit as part of a graduate group studying business in the country. I decided to arrive 3 days before the rest of the group and stay 2 days after. My family and friends thought I was crazy by doing this. They thought I should have traveled only with the group not by myself. Oh, they talked about the worst scenarios you can imagine. I went anyway and had a fantastic time. The best thing is that I was able to take members of the larger group to places I discovered the first couple of days. I was also able to show them how to use the metro.
    Ruth recently posted…Pacific Grove: Point Pinos, Asilomar and DowntownMy Profile

  3. Hi Corinne, Your invite inspired me to do a post and link it to yours. Real Weekend Travel Inspiration lol. We are in Skraidin and are going to Split via Trogir in the morning. I am glad you and the girls loved your time in China and that it changed your view of travel. I have not ventured there yet but I found out in my early 20’s that places I have been scared of venturing are OK once I am there. I travelled overland through Java when I was 20 and it was tough, but amazing too and it whetted my appetite for more adventure. Thank Goodness.
    budget jan recently posted…Zadar Sunset with Light Show and Music for MermaidsMy Profile

  4. I must be reading your mind. Just yesterday, I was thinking about the time we road bikes on the city wall around Xian. China is actually the only place we’ve traveled as a family where we booked a tour instead of traveling independently. Hubby had visited as a teen and hated most of the experience (other than the fab historical sites), so he was very reluctant to go again. Booking a tour and promising to stay in nice hotels was one of the ways I was able to twist his arm into coming along. It was a private tour, though, so we had full control over the itinerary. I actually enjoyed for once not having to be in charge of figuring out all the logistics. I would really like to visit Eastern Europe. Hubby visited the USSR back in the 70s and liked it so perhaps it won’t be such a hard trip for me to sell him on.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted…The Natural Wonder of Hamilton PoolMy Profile

    1. Michele, Wow! It does sound like we had similar thoughts. I thought riding the bikes on the Xian wall was a blast! I hope you get to Eastern Europe…It’s worth it!

  5. The language thing is more intimidating when you’re on your own (everything is harder when you are on your own). When you are with another person you have two heads and somehow you figure things out. Oddly enough, in Europe I feel compelled to try and speak the languages and of course can’t and get frustrated by that. In Asia We really couldn’t even try and in a way not having that pressure made it easier!
    eileen @ FamiliesGo! recently posted…WTI: Finding The Right Family Vacation RentalMy Profile

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.