BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- "Travel is never a matter of money but of courage," wrote Svetoslav Dimitrov, a Bulgarian blogger and seasoned traveler who is keen to share his exhilarating experiences traveling to China with others in his handy travel guide that features a whopping 151 tips.
Introducing himself as a "travel writer with an incurable love for new discoveries and an insatiable hunger for scrumptious delicacies" in his online English-language travel guide, Dimitrov is a true globetrotter. He has traveled anywhere from Belgium, where he pursued his Master's degree in European policies and politics, to Geneva, where he met a Chinese girl -- an experience he himself described as "the wonderful acquaintance that changed my life to an extent."
What Dimitrov had not realized was that his indissoluble bond with China started to form when he visited the far-flung Oriental country's capital Beijing, or probably even much earlier when he met the Chinese girl in Geneva.
"The Chinese girl's description about her hometown was intriguing, but most of all, it was her friendliness and hospitality that motivated me to go," he told Xinhua recently. "And this trip has changed quite a few of my conventional beliefs about this country."
The Chinese capital of Beijing stunned him and soon after he returned to Sofia, Bulgaria's capital, he eagerly started decoding Chinese characters.
But it was a work trip to Guangzhou months later that gave him the idea to create his own travel blog which recorded his in-depth exploration of China, a vast country with diverse cultures, customs and people that coexist in harmony. After he returned, he started to work on his blog.
Dimitrov meticulously selected bits and pieces from his travel blog that could be used for his "151 China travel tips to have the best trip of your life," a guide which offers broad and insightful references on how to make pre-travel to-do-lists, accommodate cultural shocks and travel safely so that one can fully enjoy oneself while staying in China.
Categorized into 15 aspects, he wrote from a random visitor's perspective on what to prepare and what to expect of China in a lively and reader-friendly tone, promising to make "even the most ignorant person" China-savvy.
In the aspect of culture, for instance, he wrote for Tip 125, "The Chinese cheers means 'bottoms up,'" meanwhile advising not to get "ugly drunk." For Tip 133, he gives the advice to mail one's souvenirs home to avoid luggage charges at the airport because "mailing your belongings home from China is cheap."
In his guide, Dimitrov explained that the purpose of these tips is two-fold: to share what really impressed him on the one hand, and on the other hand to offer practical advice to ensure that one's stay in China is as pleasant as possible.
An avid language learner, writer and street fitness aficionado, Dimitrov blogs about travel, motivation, diet and healthy lifestyles. He has acquired quite a bit of cultural knowledge on his many trips, and feels motivated to learn the language of the country he is traveling to both before and after each journey. He started studying English at the tender age of six, and went on to study German, French, Chinese and Spanish, to name a few.
Dimitrov's career in politics was short-lived, and he quit his job for a government commission after two years of working for its International Relations department. He had decided that traveling and writing were his cup of tea, prompting him to pack and repack his backpack and head off to places where his passion for language and cultural experiences and his pursuit of a free and fruitful life converge.