I realized after last year's Britain trip that if I was going to see all the places I want to see, I've got to be getting out of the city more than once every three years. I made a sort of resolution to go some place new at least once a year. So when I found out that the main family Chris and I work for is going away for nine days in April, I figured, hey, this would be the perfect chance to go somewhere, because we won't have to miss work (well, I'll miss one shift with the other boy I work with, but not a big deal), and it's a better time of year to avoid masses of tourists than the other time they usually go on vacation (August).
First we were thinking New York, because that's the one city in the North America we both would really like to see and have never been to. And I figured North America would be the cheapest. But then I was looking at flight costs (gah!) and hotel costs (double gah!) and it seemed like so much money just to spend a few days in a place. Plus a lot of the better yet inexpensive places were already booked up. Chris pointed out, also, that some time soon one or both of us with have a real reason to go (I might go to a conference, or go sometime when Kristin's visiting so I can meet her in person, for example) and we could explore the city then.
But I really wanted to go somewhere. So I started plugging in different cities in Europe, just to compare costs--how much to go to Paris? Rome? Madrid? Athens? The only one that seemed affordable was Paris, but Chris isn't especially interested in going there.
So then, just out of curiosity, I checked fares to China. And realized that, because staying in China is so inexpensive, we could spend a little over a week there and it would actually cost less than those other places in Europe. And we both would really like to see the country. And we've saved quite a bit of extra money over the last few months. And I've been working all these extra shifts at the school. And the opportunity to go at this time of year might not come again soon if I'm working full time next year. So...
I booked our tickets last night. We're flying into Beijing and out of Shanghai, spending most of our time in the former. I'm a little nervous, but mostly excited. It's going to be an adventure! :D