When Matthew and his PhD advisor found they were accepted to the XIX International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen, China, I was a little jealous. Then, when his advisor suggested he take a week vacation prior to the conference so that I could enjoy China as well… I frantically did some financial math on how to make it work.
We flew into Beijing, then traveled southwest to the ancient capital of Xi’an, and finished our trip in southeast Shenzhen where the conference was being held. I left prior to the week-long botany conference on the most turbulent plane ride I hope to ever experience.
While we failed to learn the local languages, we got by on a fair bit of charades and laughter. 10/10 for food and historical interest, 2/10 for air quality.