With everyone whom I have spoken to since returning, their first question is always “So what was your highlight?!”
For the first part collecting samples in the north-western deserts, my highlight was the first time I saw enormous sand dunes. I found this beyond explanation, it was the incredible ‘sand sea’ I had expected, extending for hundreds of miles.
For the second part, in the northern Tibetan plateau, we were lucky enough to visit a Tibetan family in their home, which was a highlight due to the pure spontaneity of the situation. We drank tea and ate lunch with this genuine Tibetan family, which was truly surreal- I couldn’t believe it was happening at the time.
Lastly, in Beijing, one of my highlights was my visit to the Great Wall. After climbing to the top and reaching a part closed to visitors, I stopped for a second and thought of how larger than life it was, making me feel so small on this incredible, epic structure.
My other highlight in Beijing was where one of the nights four of us staying in the hostel took a guitar up to the roof garden, overlooking hutong roofs, where we sang songs under the stars. I really considered this as the essence of travelling, people from all different countries coming together in a foreign place and bonding over common interests.