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Hi friends!

We write to you from the beautiful Eastern Sierra Mountains in California, where all Dragons instructors meet each summer for a training. The three of us have been busy preparing for our course and all of the adventures we have ahead of us. We hope you’re as excited as we are.

We wanted to send out a friendly reminder to post your introduction Yak! It’s a great way to introduce yourself to our group and to also become familiar with using the Yak board (we will be using it throughout our course). Thank you to those of you who have already done so.

Just to give you a few more details regarding our itinerary and what you can expect…

We will be doing a multi-day hike + some day hikes and would encourage you all to have sturdy hiking boots. It helps to get boots with good ankle support and water-proof. PLEASE wear these for a few days at home and around your town to break them in if they are brand new shoes or if you haven’t worn them much. We’re also emphasizing on bringing sun protection essentials (i.e. a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen).

We also wanted to share a few travel tips with you all to prepare for the looooong journey to China. After making this journey across the Pacific dozens of times, here are a few useful travel tips that may help to make your travels a bit more comfortable:

  • You’re going to be pushing your body hard during our four weeks together. You’ll go through jet-lag, be exposed to new germs, ascend and descend altitudes, ride on all manner of transportation, and carry all of your possessions on your back. You need your body to work. So before you even fly, in the coming days make a conscious effort to exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and drink tons of water. When you’re the only one who isn’t catching a cold or suffering from funny stomach the second week in, you’ll appreciate what you physically did to get ready, and you’ll be ready to help the rest of the group if needed.
  • Have a pen with you on the flight to fill out immigration forms before arrival. Having these ready to go before you deplane (can you believe that’s a word?) can help you speed through the customs and immigration lines.
  • Long flights are hard on your body. Drinking tons of water helps. After you get through security, you can usually buy water or fill up your water bottle. We suggest you drink about a fourth of a liter every fifteen minutes to avoid the dehydrating effects of altitude and the recycled air. Being hydrated also seems to help shed the effects of jetlag.
  • You may want to bring a warm layer onto the airplane as it can get pretty cold at 35,000 feet! You can also ball this up and put it on your shoulder as a makeshift pillow. It definitely helps your sleep if you aren’t jerking awake every time your head nods off in one direction or the other. If your plane has an adjustable headrest, even better!
  • It never hurts to toss a pair of underwear, your toothbrush, and an airplane-sized tube of toothpaste in your carry-on bag in case you want to freshen up on the plane or your checked bag decides to fly to a different country than you do. It can also be nice to have a pair of sandals to change into on the plane.
  • Make sure you always know exactly where your passport is!
  • Before you leave the plane, grab anything free. Slippers, eye covers, headphones, and earplugs may come in handy later in the trip.

Hope that some of these tips may help you prepare.

Another reminder – check the previous Yak which explains your pre-course assignment. Be ready to present what you learn about your designated topic!

I’ll be waiting for you all in Los Angeles! If you have any questions or concerns before we meet, please reach out to the Dragons office or post a Yak here.


Kristen & the instructor team

P.S. We hope you enjoy this silly photo of us dressed up and riding a lobster in the forest.