My Month Of Shaolin Martial Arts – Part 1 – PACKING

It’s one of those experiences that I know will be a game changer. One solid month of Shaolin kung fu martial arts training – every weekday, all day from 5am to 9pm.

The website of the academy I am visiting is and it was recommended by a friend who is already there.

At this point I am politely questioning my sanity…

I’m a rather unfit and catlike human (see : sleeping & eating blob who enjoys laying around on furniture) who is not a big fan of the outdoors (or anywhere far from amenities) and while having ambition to adventure is all good and well there is some part of my mind that is now raising its eyebrow and saying ‘well, good luck with that then’.

The drama queen in me is bidding adieu to all of my possessions and loved ones, while my pragmatic mind quietly lines up all of my items for packing. And yes, I am very over-prepared.

Thankfully I’m also an excellent packer, choosing items with maximum versatility. I’m not sure I’ll be able to fit everything since I have 2-4 of each item, but I can always pare down.

My most important items are of course :

  • Mosquito repellant supplies
  • Sunscreen & toiletries
  • Exercise wardrobe
  • Backup food & nutrition supplies

Plus a billion other things, of course.

My flight is on Tuesday – the day after tomorrow – and I am terribly nervous, and very excited. It is a blessing that I have been so occupied tying up all loose ends and preparing that I am in a state of semi-exhaustion and therefore happily pottering along trying not to make eye contact with my flight schedule.

I hope to write while I am there – a book on my experiences – but perhaps it will just turn out to be a diary of exhausted ramblings of an unfit girl on a mountain.

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Raven Tao

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