My name is Marta and I've been the Journeying Gypsy since I was 3 months old. My father, the Conqueror of the Mongolian Steppes, and my mother, the Empress of Reason, have embarked on an epic journey long ago, taking me along with them, while I was still too young comprehend it.
Although my family has nothing to do with the history of the Romany peoples, over the years we've become a three person tribe, which has moved, like nomads, throughout the world.
The migrant lifestyle eventually motivated me to separate from my tribe, in pursuit of my own adventures. This is my story.
July 2nd 2012
Day 3 Initially, I was supposed to go north to Longsheng (龙胜) to see the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces (Longji Titian 龙脊梯田) today. That plan went down the drain. Upon speaking to my dorm fellow, the German Marco Polo, I realised that getting there and back takes a lot longer than the Lonely Planet guide suggested, so I decided to leave it for another time. Besides, there'll be plenty of rice terraces to see in Vietnam! Instead, my companion from the previous day, along with Marco Polo and I, decided on taking a bamboo cruise down the Li River (Li Jiang 漓江) while on our way to Guagxi's most famous tourist attraction - Yangshuo (阳朔). The ride over, to the spot where the bamboo rafts were to pick us up, was quite funny. The tour guide ... read more
July 1st 2012
Day 2 When I woke up it was around 0700h. I found out the train was slightly delayed, so I'd arrive in Guilin at around 1100h, making it a 22 hour train ride. Since I've slept for about 17 hours, I felt extremely rested, ready for the new day. I made myself a cup of instant coffee (sadly, without any milk) and sat by the window to watch the passing scenery, nomming my 7/11 muffins. I think, for the first time in my life, I saw rice paddies up close. I was finally able to see straw hats in action. Straw hat figures, ankle deep in water, caring for the fragile rice plants; straw hat figures working the fields, accompanied by water buffaloes; and then just straw hats sticking out above tall grass. I doubt Chinese ... read more
June 30th 2012
Day 1 My Mom called me this morning just to wake me up. Thank gods she did, otherwise I would have missed my train and slept through everything! I guess she knows me too well, or just remembers how I missed that one flight, all too well... I still don't remember what time I got in yesterday; how I got into bed is also a mistery. And the hangover... don't even get me started... I'm thinking, maybe I should undergo an electro-shock treatment that will once and for all stop me from mixing vodka, wine, beer and so on, you know? It would teach me to grab only one sort of drink all night and zap me everytime I'd try to go for the oh-so-tasty Long Island Icetea. Or I don't know... Make me prefer water ... read more
June 24th 2012
When the feelings of being like Sisyphus finally lifted and changed into the feeling of being like Titan instead, everything finally started to fall into place. The initial summer plan was: Shanghai – Yunnan Province (1 week) – Vietnam (2 weeks) – Japan (Tokyo and Fuji Rock, 1 week) – Shanghai. Since I’ve had to abandon Japan, and my Yunnan plan was already complete, I thought, why not start from there and see what else I could fit into my itinerary. Before I realised it, I managed to include Guanxi Province. And well, I was hyped about Vietnam all along, so I began bulldozing through Lonely Planet’s “Southeast Asia on a Shoestring”. Those 2 weeks I mentioned before would not do Vietnam any justice, at all! The new plan became: Shanghai – Guangxi Province (~6 days) ... read more
June 20th 2012
About two months ago, my friend and I began planning our summer. We were to visit China’s Yunnan Province, cover Vietnam and then go to Japan for the famous Fuji Rock Festival. Unfortunately, as they say, "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." And so they did. Work and employment plans, in this case… My friend had decided to stay and work, completing a degree in between, while I realised I could no longer afford going to Japan. Things change, plans change – everything is constantly on the move. At first, these facts, this reality, were really depressing. I couldn’t overcome the thought of failing in some way, in the ‘great scheme of things’. I had so much hope for this trip! Why? Why did things not go as planned?! Was it ... read more