Molly’s March on the Great Wall

Molly’s March on the Great Wall

Molly, a 28-year-old waitress from Glasgow, had always been mesmerized by the tales and ancient history of the Great Wall of China. Every shift at the bustling city center restaurant was a step closer to her dream. She had scrimped and saved, pouring her tips into a jar labeled “China Adventure,” and finally, the day had come when she could afford the trip she had dreamed about for years.

Her journey began with a long flight to Beijing, her excitement barely contained as the airplane descended over the sprawling city. Molly’s first glimpse of China was a mix of awe and anticipation. Upon arrival, she navigated through the bustling Beijing Capital International Airport, her heart pounding with the realization that she was about to witness one of the wonders of the world.

The next morning, Molly joined a tour group headed to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. As the bus wound its way through the Chinese countryside, she marveled at the contrast between the dense urban center of Beijing and the lush green landscapes that lay just beyond. When the Great Wall first came into view, cresting the rugged hills like the spine of a dragon, Molly felt a surge of emotion. Here was the monument she had seen in books and documentaries, stretching endlessly before her.

Climbing the steps of the Great Wall, Molly felt the weight of history with each step. She touched the ancient stones, worn smooth by millions of hands, and imagined the countless stories they held. The Wall snaked away into the distance, its battlements rising and falling with the contours of the mountains. From her vantage point, the views were breathtaking—steep hillsides carpeted with dense forests, with the Wall dividing the landscape into a historical panorama.

Molly spent hours walking along the Wall, taking in the vistas, snapping photos, and occasionally stopping to rest. She struck up conversations with fellow travelers, sharing stories and snacks, and feeling a kinship with other adventurers drawn to this majestic place.

One particular moment stood out when she reached one of the highest towers in the Mutianyu section. As she stood there, the wind whipping around her, Molly felt a profound sense of achievement. She had made it here on her own, saving every penny, and planning meticulously. She wasn’t just a waitress from Glasgow anymore; she was a traveler on the Great Wall of China.

The descent was reflective, with Molly pondering her next steps. The trip had ignited a passion for travel and a desire to explore more of the world. Back in Beijing, she spent a few more days visiting other historical sites like the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, each site offering new insights and inspirations.

Her evenings were spent exploring Beijing’s culinary scene, from bustling night markets offering exotic treats like jianbing (Chinese crepes) and tanghulu (candied hawthorns), to upscale restaurants where she tried Peking duck, perfectly crispy and served with thin pancakes.

As Molly’s trip came to an end, she felt a mixture of sadness and gratitude. Sadness because her adventure was over, but gratitude for the experiences and memories she had gathered. On the flight back to Glasgow, she journaled about her trip, capturing not just the sights and sounds but also her thoughts and feelings.

Molly returned to her job at the restaurant with a new sense of purpose. She began planning her next journey, perhaps to Machu Picchu or the Sahara Desert, knowing now that the world was full of wonders, waiting for her to explore.