Sarah Fitzpatrick

sarah fitzpatrick

Sarah Fitzpatrick

My mission: to taste the foods of life!

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi June 20th 2011

After spending my last few rather sad days in China, catching up with a friend in Nanning, I began the journey to Vietnam. The boarder is a little crazy- once you've passed immigration on the China side you have to walk for a bit to reach the Vietnam side, and with all you luggage and in the sweltering heat you push and shove your way to the counter and practically throw your passport to officals to organise. I was amazed I still received my passport in one piece! The scenery on the way is just breathtaking though- the land is so fertile so you see a lot of diversity in both flora and fauna. Once arriving in Hanoi I went straight to my guesthouse where I was greeted by some of the most lovely and hospitable ... read more
Sunset at Halong Bay

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La June 11th 2011

It’s been almost three weeks now since I stepped into the cobbled streets of Shangri’la’s old town and since that moment, I’ve completely and hopelessly fallen in love with this place. Now; I really feel and can really understand why people love to travel- it’s not just so you can go to some destination and eat food and take a picture; it’s truly about the people that you meet and the experiences you have of being welcomed into a brand new community with different cultures and customs. I can’t even begin to contemplate where I should begin my reflections; the amount of knowledge and experiences I’ve accumulated in these short three weeks is enough to last a lifetime. I’ve made many new friends here, friends I will hold closely in my heart for a long ... read more
Prayer flags
of course; there was dancing.
yaks on the street

Asia » China » Yunnan » Zhongdian May 30th 2011

So I've decided to take the traditional name for Shangri-la as the location for this blog- Zhongdian. This is because this place was only renamed for the tourism industry a few years back- because Shangri-la sounds like some exotic destination beyond the Tibetan platau. But despite the touristy name, this place is every bit as interesting, welcoming and incredible as you can imagine. One thing I cannot get over here, is the simple kindness, generosity and overall friendliness of the locals here. Already in my first week here, I've made so many friends, and now when I walk the streets of old town, I pass by people and give them a wave and a friendly greeting; just like I've lived here for years. :-) The people at the Thanka Academy are especially lovely, and I've really ... read more
nice big prayer wheel
The Thanka Academy

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang May 25th 2011

When you think of Lijiang, you think of vanilla milkshakes, thousands of tourists and KTV. But you know what? I really liked it. Although this place is really touristy, I enjoyed being able to sit down in a cafe and eat banana pancakes for breakfast and listen to Jack Johnson- it really was a treat. If you come to Lijiang for nothing else, the scenery here is enough to draw even the most sceptical of people from across the world. From small villages, rice paddies and sky high mountains, Lijiang has it all. On my first day Lijiang after sending a package back home and soaking up some of the atmosphere of the old town, I wandered up to the Black Dragon Pool Lake for one of China's most iconic shots. Check out my photo :-) ... read more
Hippy bar in Lijiang
vanilla milkshake!

Asia » China » Yunnan » Yuanyang May 21st 2011

By far one of the most incredible travel experiences I've had so far is my short journey to Yuanyang. When I arrived at Kunming's south bus station I started thinking to myself, "What the f*** am I doing? I don't know where the f*** I'm going, I'm by myself, WTF???" So I was a little nervous to say the least. As I expected, I was the only foreigner on the bus- they were mostly Yuanyang locals and they were all naturally very curious about me and as soon as they found out I could speak a little Chinese, the questions started coming. "where are you from?", "what are you doing in China?", "you're here by yourself?". etc etc. But I didn't mind so much, they seemed like very friendly people. On the six hour journey to ... read more
P5173415 - Copy - Copy - Copy

Asia » China » Yunnan » Kunming May 17th 2011

I have a huge few days its hard to know where to begin; but hopfully I'll just write and I hope that it will make sense. My farewell weekend was rather sad but also happy at the same time. I went with the other awesome AuPairs to Window of the World- a theme park with minature verions of world scenes- including the Sydney opera house! HELL YES! it was awesome. I think I'll really miss those guys in Shenzhen, they're really good people and I'll miss their company. My family also took me out for dinner on the saturday night- which was sooo yummy! It was sad saying goodbye to them on Sunday though, the little girl kept saying all weekeend, "I'll miss you..." aw :'( It felt awfully lonely on the plane from Shenzhen to ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen May 12th 2011

It’s been three months. Three huge months immersing myself in Chinese culture- and yes; it really has been immersing. I've taken the time this week to reflect on some of the things I've learnt and of some of the things I'll miss and also the things that have made me even change my usual habits. For example, although I don't think I could even bring myself to spit in the streets, however I've noticed that I now spit out the bones from meat that I eat onto the dinner table like everyone else. :) Also I learned many new words and phrases that I don't think I ever could've learnt in a classroom. From 你干什么呀? To 妈妈;我想尿尿!! It’s been a real learning experience. I'll never forget the putrid smell that was on the street near the ... read more
learning Chinese
my home
playing around with my sunglasses!

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen April 24th 2011

Sitting in the corner of my room, bleary eyed yet feeling content; I decide I feel inspired enough to write another blog. :-) This week has been somewhat different to the typical days in the life of a chinese person. The little girl's foot became inflamed so has had to see another docor in another hospital- and has spent a fews days in the hospital as a patient. So its been rather quiet in the house these days. Please don't worry though- she is going to be fine I'm sure :-) I had the opportunity to meet many lovely people from all over the world this week- I greeted all the new au pairs who arrived to experience what I've experienced these past few months. We ate a lovely lunch (with my favourite Chinese dish- sizzling ... read more
fooling around :)
awesome architecture

Asia » Hong Kong April 13th 2011

I wish I had time to write a blog while I was actually in Hong Kong- but the fact is- I was just so busy that I just did not have the time. So I will rely on my recent memory to illustrate my blog. It started with a simple bus trip across the boarder from the mainland. As soon as we had hit the road my senses became excited about exploring a familar yet challenging and different environment. I arrived in Koowloon and more or less went straight to my accomodation in Causeway Bay. It was nice! THe Hong Kong Hostel is a far better option for single travellers if they want to escape the dangerous labarinth of dodgy guesthouses in Chungking and Mirador Mansions in Koowloon. This hostel was located in a plesant neighbourhood- ... read more
Tea House!
awesome tea pots in the tea museum.
view of Hong Kong

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen April 2nd 2011

Well I think I can officaly say that I've overcome my culture shock wave of insanity. I really didn't think that I would experience it as harshly as I did, especially because I've been here before a couple of times- but now that I look back on it, it was all for the best. I taught the little girl how to say 'G'day mate, how ya goin?' today- that was pretty hilarious! I offically spent about 4 hours today practising calligraphy- OMG my hand hurts so much, but I can definately say, I can really appreciate the beauty and the art of writing characters- it is really soothing for the soul. I've reached the point in my journey now where I feel apart of China; one just like everyone else; but you know- in a still ... read more
the entrance to the subway
Mango Pudding!
eating hot pot

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