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I have always loved to travel. I lived and studied in Europe but it was 2012, before I first made it to China for an admissions recruiting trip for Tufts University. I was immediately captivated by the culture, especially the balance of ancient traditions mixed with modernity.

As a university student, I studied art history, and Chinese ceramics became a passion of mine. It was long on my list to visit the famous Terracotta Army in Xian and it did not disappoint. Unearthed in 1974 by a local farmer, the warriors are one of the 20th century's greatest archaeological discoveries. It is however, just one of China's many landmark attractions and I can't wait to share my love of Chinese landscapes and culture with those who are curious and open to the wonders of Asia.

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I'll never forget when…

Lijiang in western China is an incredibly picturesque place with winding cobbled streets, numerous canals crossed by stone bridges, and ancient wooden townhouses. It's also incredibly popular and taking time out to visit the 18th-century Zhiyun Temple with a Naxi shaman had a profound effect on me. Tucked away from the busy streets on a lakeside at the foot of a mountain and surrounded by ginko, cherry, plum and mulberry trees, it was an oasis of calm. The shaman drew ancient pictographs using techniques used by his ancestors for thousands of years and brought the rich spiritual and political history of the temple to life for me.

Photos of Virginia

Virginia taking a cooking class in Shanghai, China Virginia taking a cooking class in Shanghai, China
Virginia at the Great Wall, Jinshanling, China Virginia at the Great Wall, Jinshanling, China
Virginia in Hong Kong, China Virginia in Hong Kong, China
Virginia visiting a Suzhou garden, China Virginia visiting a Suzhou garden, China