Alice decided to study Mandarin at the age of 14 which led to her first travel out of Europe to China. For the last decade she has travelled there regularly and after finishing school decided to live in Beijing as an Au pair. Deciding that China was definitely for her she studied Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham and went to live, work and study in the little-known city of Ningbo. Whilst living there she took every opportunity to travel (occasionally missing the odd lecture to do so) particularly enjoying the lush mountain scenery and minority villages of the Southwest. When completing her degree back in the UK she couldn’t help but go back to Beijing and spent some time working for a women’s rights charity.

When she could draw herself away from China she hopped over to Taiwan a couple of times to enjoy the delicious food and more relaxed pace of life. She has also travelled in Japan taking advantage of the beautiful hiking in the summer and the incredible skiing in the Winter. She has also spent time working as a ski instructor in Switzerland and travelling around the West Coast of Canada and the US.

Specialist: China, Japan


Interview

Q: Favourite city:

A: Beijing – I may be slightly biased having lived there twice now, but there is so much to see beyond the main historical sites of the Forbidden City and Great Wall. The hutong area (old town) still has a great community feel where you can find delicious street food and local craft breweries in between old Granny’s sat outside their houses gossiping, whilst their husbands gather in the square playing Chinese chess.

Q: Favourite country:

A: China – it is never what people expect it to be. Without sounding cliched you really can find every landscape and climate here whilst hopping between giant megacities and tiny rural hamlets.

Q: Favourite meal:

A: Pork dumplings coated in Sichuan pepper oil, best eaten in the humid streets of Chengdu.

Q: Most memorable journey:

A: Driving from Seattle to San Francisco along the Pacific coast, a week of stunning scenery and beautiful sunsets.

Q: Favourite travel advice:

A: Always take a scarf, keeps you warm on the flight, can be bundled into a pillow on long journeys, it can protect you from the sun and if the pillows where your staying don’t look the best you can wrap it around one.

Q: Next on must-see list:

A: In China I am going to Northern Yunnan to travel around the Southern edge of the Himalayas. I’m excited to visit Central Asia, especially horse riding in Kyrgyzstan. South Korea is also pretty high up my list, I would love to see some of the beautiful islands off of the South coast.