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Interview with Gadi and Tun from BeingInAwe

Can you start by giving us a little bit of background about yourself and your blog. How did you start traveling? When did you start blogging, and what did you expect readers to get out of it?

Recently we’ve found a definition term for ourselves. And here it is – you can call us “mid-life runaways”. We are in our thirties now and after living and working in 9-5 mode  for a decade, we finally decided to change the course. We sold and gave away all we could, squeezed what had left into 10 cubic meters of paid storage space and ran away. It took just one month and now we are free for full time travel.

After half a year of traveling we began to look for other people like us on the Web. And we were surprised to see that there are so many couples and solo full-time travelers out there. Also we’ve realized, that each one of them is actively sharing their experiences through blog and inspiring others. And we thought to ourselves, that we too have now something to share and with our blog encourage and inspire others to run-away from “normal” life.  To run to where?, – you will ask. To life of being in awe with wonders of the world. This also explains the name, that we’ve chosen for the blog: “BeingInAwe”.

Gadi and Tun

Gadi and Tun

Let’s talk experiences – what has been the best experience you’ve had on the road? The worst? 

Let’s start with the worse. The worse experience ever is the spitting chinese men. We just can’t get used to it, even after living for one year in China. This doesn’t make China worst country to visit, it just makes some chinese men unbearable.

Our best experience was traveling to Yangshuo, China.

Moon Water Cave - Yangshuo,China

Moon Water Cave – Yangshuo,China

We loved everything there: Li-river, bike trips, famous West-street. And most of all the huge caves with stalactites and stalagmites, hot springs and dust baths.

What is it like living abroad in China?

China is beautiful and big country full of surprises and things we just can’t understand. But we learn with time, and after one year we can say, that we know something about chinese people and this country. We’ve even started to gather our experience in special series called: “China Expat Beginner’s Guide”.  And yet we always will remain foreigners here, even if we would decide to stay here for another 20 years. About chinese people we can say that they are very friendly and treat foreigners with respect and curiosity.

Do you find any similarities between Russia and China?

Of course we do. Each one of us left Russia, when Soviet Union felt apart. And in China we see many things that remind us about Soviet Russia. After all Russia and China were allies for a long time, before China opened itself to the West. We laugh, when we are traveling in chinese public transport, because it feels so much like being back in Russia of 80-s or 90-s. But China is changing fast and in big cities today you will see more similarities with the western country.

What are some tips people should know if they plan on traveling to China?

First of all, avoid spitting men …haha … just kidding. We compiled the guide that answers this question called ”10 Things to know before traveling to China”. But if you don’t feel like reading it, in several words we will say the following:

  • Be careful when crossing the streets.
  • Be ready for heavy pollution in big cities.
  • You will not find easily signs in English or people that speak in this language.
  • Be ready that your favorite social networks will not be freely available anymore.
  • Be ready for extra attention to your persona from chinese people, especially in villages and small towns.
  • If you are planning long time travel, take care about the insurance.

What is the most underrated site in China? Overrated?

All places, which we’ve visited were interesting for us, but there are places that we could avoid of visiting. The Terracotta Warriors, for instance, was not so awesome for us. We mean, you can go there once in a lifetime to put a “V” mark for yourself, but we don’t think it is as fascinating as mountains and forest parks. But this is of course is only our opinion.

What are some of your interests outside of traveling?

Our passion is Chinese Martial Arts. This is the reason, why we are now in China, training for a year in Zhao Changchun Martial arts academy in Xi’an.

Gadi with students of wushu academy in Xi'an

Gadi with students of wushu academy in Xi’an

Also we are experienced ESL teachers now. Especially we love to teach little kids in kindergarten.

What are your upcoming plans, both travel and non-travel?

After saying goodbye to China, we are planning to get scuba-diving certificate in Thailand, and then to make a road-trip all over Europe.

Also we always try to combine traveling and learning new things.

Gadi: I want to improve my Spanish guitar playing skills in Spain.

Tun:  I want to learn to cook delicious food from kitchens of different countries.

What do you miss most about being home?

Tun:  I miss my garden and flowers, which I am so passionate about.

Gadi:  I miss my parents and our cat that we had to leave with them in Israel.

Also we miss sometimes the places we love in our country, and always compare them with new places that we visit.

Do you ever think about calling the quits? If so, any idea what you’ll do when you “settle down”?

 We think, that we always will travel, as long as we will have the possibility. If we will have to return to our home country, we will not “settle down” completely, but rather we will use it as a base camp for our world explorations.

Author Bio: Gadi and Tun are midlife run-aways from Israel. They left their normal life and jobs behind to be in awe with wonders of the world.  They have launched their blog BingInAwe in order to share their awe with others, and inspire their readers to travel the world. Now they are living as expats in Xi’an, China.

You can follow their journey on Facebook & Twitter.

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One Response to Interview with Gadi and Tun from BeingInAwe

  1. Dave and Vicky,
    Thank you for this interview.

    We are happy to have a chance to tell our story here on your site.

    Gadi and Tun June 28, 2013 at 4:07 PM Reply

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