📸 — Shanghai, China

Our last stop — China. When looking around for what was the cheapest most direct flight home, Shanghai was our pick. It works out too that they now offer transit visas for up to 144 hours so we were able to stay in the city for a few days to explore.

This was perfect for Maeghan — after she visited in 2009, they announced the launch of a new Disney World and she had a goal to visit them all. It wasn’t clear when she would come back but after the rock incident in Nepal, Olivier agreed that he would take her to Disney :D

Overall, China is a super interesting place and changed so much since Maeghan’s last visit. In 2009, She didn’t have a smartphone but instead a local friend who showed her around. This time was an adjustment as every app that we use (Facebook, Whatsapp, Uber, Google Maps etc…) are blocked in China. There are Chinese copies made locally to control access to information.

The competition to build these apps/companies is fierce! Think of thousands of entrepreneurs trying to build a local version of Airbnb, Paypal, (you name it!), and try to get people to use it. It’s wild! Not surprisingly, most apps aren’t translated in English so we ended up having to download a VPN so we could navigate and get around.

Anyway, during this time, we started to wind down. After almost 2 years away, there is something desirable of sleeping in the same bed, or having the ability to make a consistent routine without constant alterations.

We’re heading home and both really excited to start a new adventure, but this time in a more long term place. :)

See more on our website www.alittledetour.ca🌏✈️👫
Walking through the residential areas and alleys.
The infrastructure is insane. Having to build a city that accommodates 25 MILLION people! That is the equivalent of the population of Canada!
They had lots of green space that reminded us of a less humid version of Singapore.
As we were walking, we heard this really loud sound and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Olivier pointed to these balls and we found HUGE grasshoppers in them. Not sure what they are for, but boy can they chirp.
Please note the man on his knees in the far back left corner. We often saw older folks with big speakers dancing through out the parks and open paved areas.

The marriage market at People’s park is a fascinating event.

I think the best way to describe it is Match .com & Google Reviews merged into one.

Parents have been coming to this park every weekend for generations to help try and find a loved one for their kids. Essentially, they make a profile on a sheet of paper of their child’s characteristics — age, height, weight, education, astrological sign and more. Then sit in the park and talk to other parents who are also trying to find a match for their children.

When Maeghan came back in 2009, a man was seriously considering her for his son as a potential date, but when he learned that she was born in September, the deal was off! Superstition and good fortune are very important in match making.

All the parents sitting along the side of the park talking with potential in-laws.
Even if the children live outside of China, the parents are still supporting their pursuit for marriage.
Checking out the Bund.
The city was crazy clean, if leaves or cigarette butts were on the ground — there were staff right there to pick it up!
Visiting the French Quarter.
Beautiful architecture on top, Starbucks coffee on the bottom.
We crossed over the bund by ferry to check out a city view.
The elevator at the Shanghai tower won a Guinness world record for fastest elevator. Your ears pop like crazy as you skyrocket to the top.
The smog, the sun and the city.
Loved the colours.
Shopping is a major hobby in Shanghai and people come out with SO many bags from every store.
For building construction — they use bamboo to build scaffolding as it is strong, flexible and easy to assemble.
We ventured to an area of town where no one spoke english and ordered some more dumplings before getting ready to head home.
This is the first time we saw a Starbucks Reserve, so wanted to check it out. This place is bonkers! They have a full assembly machine to bag the coffee beans and they also have a full bakery making fresh food! Just one latte here (and yes, it is a Starbucks) is 17 Canadian dollars! They give you sparkling water when you sit down and have the most trendy of spaces.
More couples dancing by night.

Maeghan has been on a life mission to visit all the Disney Parks around the world and today she achieved that feat! Shanghai Disney was by far the most chaotic park we’ve been too, but they have some exclusive rides that you can’t currently find in any of the other parks as it was just built in June 2016.

There is this thing with lines… no one really stands in them, they just continue to push you ahead and if there is a tiny spot, people behind you will pass you. This is really difficult if you are trying to get on a ride or through security…. it takes hours longer….
$40 crepes anyone?!
the last few times we’ve visited Disney, Olivier always wins the blasting games (Buzz Light year, Ant Man etc). But this year, Maeghan stepped up her game! Left Maeghan: 997,950. Right Olivier 925,100 BOOM! 💥
Maeghan got a special pin and when we met Mickey he gave her a big hug to celebrate her achievement — visiting every park. It was pretty cheese but appreciated SO much.
Dr. Strange looked LEGIT!
Oli decided that he would start randomly posing in places and look like a goof. But the crazy thing was he would do that…. and then people would wait and try to copy him to understand what angles he was taking.
We felt a little deflated as the rides wait-times were multiple hours to get on.. but we saw the Single Rider lane.. and all though we didn’t sit beside each other… we got on EVERY ride in about 5–20 minutes as opposed to the 2 hour wait times! That changed everything!
The TRON Ride is similar to space mountain that you are in the dark, but you ride a motorcycle and are racing through on a bike!
It was by far the coolest ride!!

Here is a video of the bikes blitzing by!

What a day! Maeghan is super proud and grateful that Olivier was there to share the day with her. Even though it was crazy in every way. Now, it’s time for us to head back home.


From the bus on the tarmac to the plane from Shanghai, to Seattle. Seattle to Calgary.

Welcome home! What an experience that we have been so lucky to have taken advantage of. We learned so much in the last two years abroad and have so many special moments, memories and friendships to be grateful for.

Thanks for following our little detour. We made this so we always had a place to look back and remember how far we’ve come and can hardly believe it’s done.

Cheers, and onto the next adventure! 🥂

See more on our website www.alittledetour.ca🌏✈️👫