My name is Mandy and I'm a Graphic Designer from Melbourne Australia currently living in Shanghai, China. I started traveling with my family to places around Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Korea growing up but didn't really catch the travel bug until I moved away from home in 2009. I embarked on a journey of self-discovery and traveled all around China, the US, the Netherlands and more. I usually go on 2-3 trips every year to places I have never visited. I am currently planning a trip to Turkey very shortly.
Do you prefer to travel solo or with others?
I don't have a preference when it comes to traveling with others or alone. I think both have their own advantages and are two very different experiences. Traveling with friends will bond you in ways nothing else will. But traveling by yourself will teach you independence and push your limits to the fullest. Both are incredible ways to travel.
What drew you to China specifically?
I initially moved to China to learn more about my heritage and discover who I was as a person; I was young and rather lost at the time. Since moving away from home, I have met so many people I would have never encountered in my comfort zones back in Australia. I have definitely discovered myself in more ways than I imagined through living abroad and traveling to different parts of the world and getting to know alternate cultures.
What has your experience living in China been like?
When I first started traveling in China, I was completely overwhelmed by everything here. There are so many people everywhere! Even though my family is Chinese, there were still many culture shocks for me and language was a slight problem. I think what the media neglects to mention about China is that it is quite easy for foreigners to meet Chinese friends who are usually very hospitable when they get to know you.
How would you describe Chinese architecture?
Traditional Chinese architecture is quite grand with intricate details. You will often find incredible wooden or stone carvings on walls as well as tall columns. However, several great Chinese architectural buildings are quickly being replaced by tall western inspired skyscrapers as China continues to favor foreign architects over local ones. Whenever I see amazing traditional Chinese architecture, it inspires me to travel more as the world is quickly changing and you never know when you're not going to be able to see the history in certain places anymore.
How do you stay inspired to explore new places in China?
Instagram actually inspired me to explore in new ways. For example, the shots taken in Kaiping were actually at an Instameet with locals in the area.
Where can we can see more of your travels?
Instagram! You can follow me (@kaecreative) on Instagram.
Images Courtesy of Mandy Cai