Later next month we fly to Beijing where we will take in the city for a week before taking 2 flights and a 8 hour car ride high into the mountains of Tibet, a yak wool tent surrounded by snow caped peaks awaits us, this earthy abode will be home for 2 months while we dine on raw yak milk, yogurt and turnips, with talk of walnuts and dried apricots to sweeten things up.
I have plans to do a meditation retreat in an old stone hut built into a mountain side, spin the soft wool from our heard of yaks with my new compact Ashford spinning wheel which should be in my hands by next week (Joy) and work on the completion of a charity project we started there last year. Its picnic season in Tibet, they make the most of the summer by having folk parties for 2 months amongst the wild flowers.
I have mixed feelings about the initial touchdown in China as you may imagine when considering the recent history of my husbands culture but I will go there much like I go anywhere, with an open mind! We will be picked up from the airport and driven around the sights, all is organised, hotels, translator, even restaurants which with fingers crossed have a few vegetarian options, I have recently watched the funny travel doco Idiot Abroad and his trip to Beijing eateries leaves me worried enough to take a big bag of healthy plant food snacks, when in doubt seaweed crackers and dark chocolate.
Usually we arrive in a country with a vague plan, nothing booked, clutching a friend or two’s phone number in case we get overwhelmed but this trip to Beijing is very unlike the way we do travel, this part of the adventure in China has been sponsored, so we will go with the organised flow.
The great wall, museums and other interests of the city are on the agenda and I hope to have at least a day to stalk some of the vintage, and antique shops that I have been researching with hope of collecting some much needed stock for my shop. On the way home after the 2 months in Tibet we will have a few days to free range the city and call on an Australian friend who is living in Beijing, I’m thinking he may give us a more local view of what is probably going to feel like a city of an overwhelming amount of people and their associated chaos.
Thousands of photos of Tibetan life will be added to our collection for a long term project, and much writing will take place about the experience of living amongst the mountains and people as the area we will go to has seldom been experienced by foreigners, I am hoping to use some of the photos in combination with my husbands traditional thangka art works; for a while we have been thinking on how to combine his amazing silk stitchery with my pictures and I’m sure this time in Tibet will be the perfect inspiration for that aspiration.
This will be the first time the kids and myself has met this side of the family my husbands mother, brother and sister and all the relatives, it is such a blessing of connection and learning for us all and will no doubt be an unforgettable experience all round, my heart is opened in anticipation.