Who would have thought that the humble balloon would bring a child and a small group of Intrepid travellers in China so much joy? Intrepid’s Marina Mildenhall is bursting to tell you her story…
“I was travelling with my fellow Roam China adventurers, when the second of our three epic train journeys started. Of course, there was the usual hustle and bustle of getting on the train and finding our beds, but once we were settled and the train moved off, it was time to meet our neighbours.
It took the young boy in the next bunk a little time to warm to us; the language barrier was a real obstacle. We’d bought spinning tops and flashy toys from the ladies with the carts, who make their way through the carriages almost constantly. But the boy was hardly impressed, it appeared he’d seen it all before.
Luckily one of our group had thought ahead and had packed some balloons in his bag. Who would have thought such a small thing as a balloon would crash down those cultural barriers, but it did. We had lots of fun with that little boy and even managed to communicate with his father about where he lived and worked, amazing. All the while, the darkness of China’s landscape rolled by on our overnight journey from Xi’an to Shanghai. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t speak the language or that we came from very different backgrounds, that simple balloon proved thoroughly entertaining for us all!”
* photo by Dylon Ju-Wei Toh – Intrepid Photography Competition