If a destination is an end point, then the journey is the people you encounter along the way. They are what change “good” to “great”, “standard” to “extraordinary”, and “memorable” to “life-changing”.
Behind the smiling profile picture, the corporate email signature, the branded name tag, beats the true heart of WildChina; a vigorous network of personalities, dreams, and experiences driving magic and life through the company veins.
So, meet the fairy godmothers(fathers) who take your China travel dreams, and not only grant them, but sprinkle a dusting of surprise throughout, so that even when you think you know what your Wildest dream looks like, something you didn’t even know existed is waiting to amaze.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Chongqing, people usually call it Mountain City. I spent many precious years living and studying in Budapest, Hungary, and now I reside in Chengdu.
Was there a specific moment in your life when you realized travel is what you wanted to do for work?
I chose tourism management as my major in Hungary because I wanted Chinese culture to be appreciated both within and beyond the borders of China. I’m not talking about just the famous landmarks but the authentic, traditional Chinese culture too. During my time in Hungary, I planned a self-guided trip to South Italy. It was an unforgettable experience, especially when I was in Sorrento. The memories I made there I will remember my entire life. Thanks to the thorough research I did before starting the trip, I managed to visit some off-the-beaten-path local attractions and avoid the crowds. After that trip, I gained confidence to design itineraries for my parents and friends. That was the moment I realized choosing travel as my major was the right decision, and it was exactly what I wanted to do professionally.
Throughout your career, was there one piece of advice you received that really impacted how you do your job?
I’ve only been in the tourism industry for about a year, but I tried different occupations before I went to study abroad. There is one piece of advice I heard, both from my professor and during my work: “Whether in life, study, or career choices, you need to find things that drive you to take initiative because these initiatives will help you become the real you.”
What is the best travel experience you’ve had so far?
The most amazing travel experience that comes to mind is the time my boyfriend and I spent in Barcelona, a city full of energy and sunshine. We enjoyed the food, Mar Bella Beach, Camp Nou, and so on. The people there were very nice, and we could sense their passion for football since every neighborhood has a football field. Surprisingly, there were even babies among visitors at Camp Nou, further confirming that football is a big part of local culture.
What is the most memorable trip you’ve planned for a traveler?
My first encounter with WildChina was when I was writing my thesis. I was really impressed by the design of the website, and I found myself envisioning what being a travel designer at WildChina might be like. Upon becoming a part of the WildChina team, I gained a clear understanding of the role and daily responsibilities of a travel designer, and am pleased to say that it is even better than what I had imagined.
I’ve been here for four months now, and I’ve gone from being a trip planner in training to now managing my own trips. One of the most memorable experiences during this period was with my first guest. At the start of her trip, she shared her interest in oriental costume art and hoped to have the opportunity to customize a set of clothes with oriental elements during her visit to Beijing.
Initially, I called several clothing customization stores in Beijing, but failed to find what was needed. Eventually, one store contacted me and recommended a very professional clothing customizer. The guest was delighted with the outcome and greatly appreviated the level of care and customization that went in to tailoring her itinerary. It was a big win for me and has left me excited to see what other unique requests I will get in the future!
What is the coolest WOW moment you’ve done for a traveler?
I believe that if you want travelers to experience a WOW moment, you should make yourself have a WOW moment when you are planning the itinerary for them. As someone relatively new to WildChina, I’ve witnessed several impressive WOW moments arranged by my colleagues. Once my colleague asked our partner hotel to reserve a surprise massage services for our clients without informing them. This gesture was especially thoughtful as the travelers had a full day of outdoor activities, including mountain climbing. Following the massage, they were treated to a beautifully prepared dinner. That day, we exceeded their expectations, and they even mentioned it in their review.
I’ve also learned that in order to create WOW moments, it’s essential to foster professional and authentic communication with clients and have good well-established relationships with service suppliers like hotels and local guides.
If you had to pick one thing that makes a trip outstanding (not just good, but great), what would it be?
If I had to pick one thing that makes a trip outstanding it would be authenticity. This is what makes guests truly trust you.
What is your favorite place in China?
My favorite place in China is one small town in Sichuan province called Markang, located on the southern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Sichuan Basin. It is also close to Jiuzhaigou. I spent much of my childhood there because my father was a soldier working in this area. Every summer holiday and Spring Festival, my mother would take me there so that we could spend some time together. The memories from that time are still very vivid in my mind.
For example, I still can recall the mornings, when local Tibetan women would bring their children to set up stalls in the wet market. The tomatoes they sold were very fresh and juicy, and each Tibetan child carried the smell of butter tea. This is just one of countless memories that I have of Markang. Whenever our family gathers, we always talk about the occasions that happened there. Although, today Markang has become a well-known destination, it still holds a special place in my heart. It remains to me a beloved summer spot that I will never turn down.
Tell us three places on your travel bucket list and why (in China or worldwide):
I would actually like to revisit places I’ve already been instead of going to new ones. The top three places I would like to revisit are:
- Budapest: I was and still am amazed every time I see the Parliament Building beside the Danube River. If you take a cruise on the Danube River at night, you’ll be immersed in Budapest’s Eastern European romance, with the Fisherman’s Bastion and The Parliament Building stretching as far as the eye can see.
- Barcelona: I was both shocked and fascinated by the architectural masterpieces designed by Antoni Gaudí. A visit to Camp Nou is quite worthwhile even with a standard ticket. The food in Barcelona is also amazing, even McDonald’s there is different from other European countries.
- Napoli: Even though there are people who think that the traffic in Naples is very chaotic, it is exactly this characteristic that leaves an unforgettable impression. Napoli is famous for being the home of Italy’s most iconic pizza. Beyond the pizza though, the city has a wide range of seafood and cuisine that is worth exploring too. People there are very nice; if you’re lost you can ask anyone for directions, even a grandma at the newsstand who can only speak Italian, and she will guide you using the language of gestures and a kind smile.
What do you do when you aren’t working? (This can be family-oriented or a hobby or a sport etc.)
I feel like my hobbies are changing as I age, but there’s one hobby that has stood the test of time – I still love cooking. I enjoy watching Youtube videos from my favorite food vloggers about both Chinese and Western cuisines. On Saturdays or Sundays, I usually block a time slot to cook one special lunch dish, like Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs, Braised Beef with Potatoes, or Spaghetti Carbona.
What’s a fun fact about you that most people don’t know?
There’s one fun fact about me that most people don’t know: I enjoy recording and editing videos. I have a social media account where I upload videos showcasing some moments of my life or sharing my feelings. I believe when I’m old, it will be a blessing to watch these videos and reflect on the moments I captured.