I love airports. I love people watching in airports. I love drinking coffee in airports. I love just being and resting and thinking about the moments I've just experiences or I am about to experience. There have been seasons of my life when airports felt so comforting and familiar. I remember when I got on a plane for the first time in about six months and how I felt emotional going through the security checkpoint.
On our way back through China to return home, we were given the opportunity to take a little layover trip to the Great Wall. We'd already checked so many things off our bucket list in the past two weeks, why not add something else? We booked a layover tour to the Great Wall a few months before we left, leaving time to receive recommendations for 72-hour visas from the tour company. When it came to the day, we landed, stood in line for a few minutes, and in no time we were headed for the Wall (I'm leaving out the part where I lost my passport before exit security and we spent two hours getting it back with the help of Robert, our amazing tour guide).
Because of our shortened timeline we ended up going to a different portion of the wall, one that was a little less crowded, thankfully. After about an hour drive and some pretty steep hiking, we came to the even steeper wall. There were miles and miles of wall as far as we could see, and the inclines only became stairs when they were "too steep." I didn't expect to be winded as quickly as we became, and the cold was no longer an issue once I was sweating through the million layers I'd piled on to keep warm.
This little excursion was one of the greatest things I have ever had the pleasure of doing. So glad I bought those gloves in Chiang Mai (strange) and so regretting my choice of footwear (Keds, for the win?). Maybe I'll see you again, China, but this was a grand--no, a great introduction.