Flying into Shanghai was to be a transfer location to get to the areas of China outside the city. But, Mandarin Journeys showed me that there is so much history in Shanghai and so much to learn about the culture and its people, that I’m looking at it from a totally different perspective.
What was most amazing to me to learn wasn’t about the deep rich history of ancient times, but the recent history of all the occupations. It has just been in the past 30 years that this city has become what it is today.
Having a personal local guide, we are able to dive into the city and began our visit with a whole day of walking. It was seriously an eye-opening experience. As you all know, I am not a tourist. I am a traveler. So, knowing more about the people and the place is what I love.
Even after this short time, I’ve learned so much and want to share with you my top takeaways so far:
- Shanghai is a new city! Most of the city is new and literally built on swap land.
- The city has a true mix of cultures and is quite diverse, given the sheer number of occupations before the end of World War II.
- The city and its people pride themselves on the well-being of both.
- The city is rich in tradition, based on ancient times.
- The people are proud of their past and have thrived from each challenge. They have used each occupation to learn and make the city stronger.
- Shanghai has an amazing park system with workout equipment, tons of open, green space, and many peaceful places.
- The family unit is tight. One of my favorite moments was catching a school dismissal and the young students greeting grandparents who whisked them away on bikes.
- The only real fear I have is crossing the street.
- WE were the only Westerners walking the streets, yet I felt at home and not like an outsider.
- Culture is strong and the arts are everywhere.
- It is an efficient city; making use of the old and creating new around it.
- The food is amazing. The fact that food is so important to people and that the act of eating holds such importance to them makes me so so happy.
- I walked way too much, but it was well worth it. I am ready to explore more, as there is so much I still want to see.
We only have one more day here in Shanghai; not nearly enough I have found. This evening, I am excited to explore the Bund, which is a famous waterfront area, and the Shanghai Gallery of Art, which showcases contemporary Chinese artists. And guess what else I get to see – Chinese Acrobats! I will, of course, share pictures. Looking forward to my next adventure…
I am a home cook that does things my way. In my kitchen, I make breakfast, pack lunches, prepare snacks, and cook dinner. During the week, we eat real food that is homemade, organic, and local. On the weekends we do explore more of our local restaurants. I bake my own bread, juice fresh oranges every other day, and make my own kombucha and other weekly favorites.