征文44 ▏Jenn: China is an amazing, diverse country

家外之家 2021
征文44 ▏Jenn: China is an amazing, diverse country


Name :  Jennifer Gunter
姓名: Jennifer Gunter
Country of Origin : Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
国籍:加拿大安大略省亨茨维尔Occupation :  Teacher, department chair, college counselor and volleyball coach!


Years in China : 4 years


When I tell many people that I live in China, they ask me questions about crowds, traffic, and other problems that they’ve heard exist in China.  I’ve been living internationally for 18 years and this is the start of my fourth year in China.  To answer these questions, I always show pictures of where I live – in a beautiful beach side community with no traffic and no crowds.  Actually, I used to believe those stereotypes about China, too.  At one point, I said ‘Never China’ when thinking of where to go next.  I’m so glad I decided to change my mind and give China a chance.如果告诉别人我住在中国,他们会问我中国的人口、交通等问题。我已经在世界各地生活了 18 年,今年是我在中国生活的第四年。我回答这些问题的方式就是向他们展示我家小区的照片——一个美丽的海滨小区,那里没有拥堵的交通,没有庞大的人口。事实上,我也曾认为那些对中国的刻板印象是真的。我在考虑下一站去哪里的时候,一度说“绝对不去中国”。我很庆幸自己改变了想法,给中国一个机会。
Here’s where I live and where work is only a 15 minute walk from home – Park Lane Harbour, China.  It’s a far cry from my hometown of Huntsville, Ontario which is a place surrounded by lakes but also one far from any ocean.  As you can see, Park Lane is the opposite of the stereotype of a crowded and noisy city.  It’s great!  Though it’s a little place, there’s still lots to do from volleyball on the beach to boat trips to book club.这是我住的地方——华润小径湾,上班只要步行 15 分钟。这里与我的家乡安大略省亨茨维尔相隔万里,后者被湖泊环绕,远离海洋。大家印象中的中国城市拥挤嘈杂,但是你所看到的小径湾与这完全相反。这里真的很棒!虽然不大,但你可以玩沙滩排球、乘船出行,还可以参加读书俱乐部。I came back into China on March 1st, 2020 after waiting in various places in South East Asia for the pandemic to get less intense in China.  Crossing back in was a tough decision as I was scared of Covid and wasn’t sure if I would be putting myself at risk, but I had a home, my cat, and a job that I love and that I needed to get back to.2020 年 3 月 1 日,疫情趋于缓和后,我回到了中国,之前我在东南亚等地居住。是否回中国是一个艰难的抉择,因为我害怕新冠疫情,不确定回中国是否有风险。但我明白,我在中国有一个家,那里有我的猫,还有一份我喜欢的工作,我要回去。Not being able to travel outside of China since then, I made the decision to make the best of being in China and a huge part of that for me is travelling.  In these 18 months in China, I’ve seen some of the most amazing places, and I like to think of that as my silver lining of not being able to leave China these days.  What fascinates me about China is how many diverse landscapes, people, and places there are to see!  I never knew this about China until this year.从那以后,我就无法出国旅行了。我决定充分利用在中国的时间,对我来说,旅行是非常重要的。在中国的这 18 个月里,我到访了许多令人叹为观止的地方。我把这看作是疫情期间不能离开中国的最大好处。中国有许多美景等你欣赏,许多人等你遇见,许多地方等你游览!今年我才知道中国有如此美好的事物。

I’d like to use this post to introduce you to some of my favorite places in China all of which are a short train or plane ride from where I live.  I do this to dispel the myth of the China of stereotypes and to give you a glimpse of some of the adventures I’ve had and that you could have too travelling in China.


In the last year alone I’ve been hiking, desert trekking, boating, and to the freezing land of the Harbin Ice Festival.  China has every climate one could want and getting around is made easy by translation and transportation apps.  Even without the knowing the language, it’s still very possible to travel around.  I find that, in general, people here are honest, friendly and helpful, and a smile and a friendly attitude go a long way if you are ever travelling and in need of directions or help.

去年,我曾爬过山、去过沙漠、划过船,还去了哈尔滨冰雪节。中国气候复杂多样,通过翻译 app 和地图导航 app,出行变得非常便利。即使不懂汉语,也可以走遍天南地北。中国人诚实、友好、乐于助人,如果你在旅途中找不到方向,需要帮助,你只要对别人施以一个微笑,用友好的态度寻求帮助,问题就迎刃而解了。

Yangshuo and Guilin: a 3-hour train ride from where I live in Guangdong Province.



Yunnan Province: 


Here in China, you can find travel groups run by foreigners that cater to foreign travelers and residence.  One such group, Pacha Mama out of Guangzhou, took me and a small group on a hiking trip to Yunnan over the summer that showed me some of the most spectacular views I’ve seen in my life.  It was truly an amazing trip and one that I would one day like to repeat.

在中国,你可以跟着外国人经营的旅游团,这些旅游团专为外国旅客服务。有一个广州的旅游团叫 Pacha Mama,整个夏天我跟着他们去云南徒步旅行,领略了我此生所见的最壮观的景色。我希望未来有一天能重游云南,再次经历这美妙的旅行。


Gansu Province:


Golden Week in October was a chance for myself and two friends to join a travel group out of Shanghai to explore Gansu province along the old Silk Road.  This trip was spectacular and more than we could have expected with parts of The Great Wall, desert camping, dune hiking, and a helicopter ride over the desert.  It was a great chance to meet people (and camels) and to see more of China.





Winter in China is the right time to head way up north to Harbin to go to the Harbin Ice Festival.  Pack your warmest clothes – I’m from northern Ontario, so I’m used to cold – and I found it absolutely freezing!  It was worth the trip though.  Four friends and I booked a private three night/four day trip which was just the right amount of time to see the sights. We explored ice palaces, did snow activities, and also had a great time exploring the Russian influence in the city.  A must go but also a must dress warmly!



China is an amazing, diverse country with some much to see and do!   I’ve been all over the place, and I feel like I’m just scratching the surface.  I’m looking forward to planning future trips both with travel groups and on my own.  As I hope I’ve shown here, China is way more than stereotypes repeated in the media.  For now, China is home.


To follow my travels in China and beyond, follow me on Instagram at @jenngunter_thoughthislens


作者:Jenn 翻译:潘泽彬

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