I have created a basic routine when it comes to travel. Day one is usually spent sleeping and exploring the immediate area to get ourselves acquainted with our new home. My Day Two travel routine is mostly about getting stuff done. It is the day I finalize any unfinished arrangements, unpack, buy groceries, and make my plans for the rest of the week. Today was no different. Thankfully, we really only had three major items on our to-do list.
Day Two Travel Routine
- Get train tickets at the train station
- Pick up needed items at the Super Market
- Take a walk to minimize jet lag
Pick Up Train Tickets
I try and arrange as much in advance as possible, but in China, it can be a little challenging. Train tickets, for example, are difficult to buy more than a week in advance (unless you want to pay American prices). So, in China, my day two travel routine, almost always includes a trip to the train station to prepare for our next stop.
The trip to the train station was just like we remembered, absolutely insufferable. We did make it there, but our souring attitudes from our lack of sleep didn’t allow us to maintain the patience we needed to actually buy tickets.
Our walk to the station was rainy and cold, finding the ticket office was an adventure all of its own, and waiting in a line that never moved was beyond frustrating. After about an hour of impatiently wondering why our 30 person long line didn’t seem to be moving at all, we finally gave up. “If at first you don’t succeed, have something delicious to eat, take a nap, and try again tomorrow.”
Pick up Groceries at the Market
My favorite part about my day two travel routine is the trip to the Super Market. It is almost always a lot of fun. We love visiting foreign super markets, particularly the fresh meat and produce sections. It is alarming how much time we spend just looking at the various products.
We purchased packs of tissues (a must have item in China), some shampoo, and a few snacks. The 10 minute activity took nearly an hour by the time we finished playing the “what do you think this is?” in the candy aisle, or “name that animal” in the meat department.
We were dead tired after our “easy” chores for the day, so we went back to the hostel, had lunch, and took a much needed nap.
After our nap, we took a short walk through the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street. I like to make sure that a long walk is included in the day two travel routine as it is a great way to reduce the effects of jet lag.
Shangxiajiu is the main pedestrian-only shopping street in Guangzhou, similar to Nanjing Rd in Shanghai or Las Ramblas in Barcelona. It was a really nice change from our dirty neighborhood location. The street was clean, lively, and full of colors. We enjoyed a stroll from one end to the other just reminiscing about the Shop Shop girls in Shenzhen.
We were in high spirits at the start of our walk, but pretty quickly fell back into tired mode. It was very obvious that it was time to slowly pick our way home and have dinner. Dinner was a little more expensive than we would have liked ($14), but it was the food we had been missing and the perfect way to send ourselves back to bed.
We returned home, kissed each other goodnight and fell immediately and completely asleep.