Tag Archives: Great Wall of China

Meet Our Local Guides: China

Meet Our Local Guides: China

Together with our Team Leaders, our local guides play an essential role in the success of all our adventures.

They come from a myriad of backgrounds and experiences so with their expert knowledge we know our adventurers are in the right hands to complete their challenges and achieve something they never knew they could.

The Great Wall of China is a legendary. Meet two of our guides who have helped our adventurers trek across literal ancient history.

Meet Jessie

She has been an English speaking travel guide for over ten years, leading both sightseeing and hiking group tours.

Jessie grew up in a small city in the province of Yunnan and spent time studying English in Beijing before returning to her hometown.

Her first experience as a guide was in 2007 in the beautifully preserved town of Lijiang, famous for it’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Her knowledge of Chinese history and culture means she is a known story-teller – and who wouldn’t want someone like Jessie with you as you walk along an ancient wonder of the world?

Her easy-going and open minded nature leave a lasting impression on those who have been on adventures with her.

Meet Michael

He is another local guide who has led a Great Wall Adventure with us.

Michael was born in a small town in northeast China but has also lived a large part of his life in Beijing.

Having moved around the country a fair bit, he says that different provinces have different climates, customs and most importantly, many kinds of food! This duality is part of what has shaped his interest in being a guide.

But what Michael loves most about his job, is the fact that every trek is different and that each person enjoys the adventure in their own unique way.

His favourite spot on the Great Wall? The Gubeikou section of the Wall because he says it is “quiet and beautiful”.

Find out more about our upcoming Great Wall Treks here.

Fundraiser of the Month: Jen Deneefe

Jen Deneefe

Cause: beyondblue
Adventure: Walk for Wellbeing: Great Wall of China Trek

As our Fundraiser of the Month, Jen has scored herself a $50 donation to her fundraising page. To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

What motivated you to take on your Inspired Adventure?

My dad and I had always talked about seeing the Great Wall together. In December 2017, he was diagnosed with Vascular dementia and was highly anxious about it. Around the same time, the Inspired Adventure was posted on my Facebook page and I signed up without a second thought. I felt it was the universe calling out to me to do something to highlight men’s mental health.

Had you ever been to China before?

I had only transited in various airports when I lived in Singapore.

What have been some of the highlights of your Inspired journey?

  • The people of China and my tour companions. Each person had a story, and over the few days we were together many stories were generously shared.
  • Seeing Tiananmen Square.
  • Standing on the wall for the first time.
  • The women who assisted us on day 3 of the walk. They were unbelievable and fantastic in their encouragement and support.
  • Tim, the Australian guide with us! He was also a fabulously supportive and kind man.

"I felt it was the universe calling out to me to do something to highlight men's mental health."

Do you have any tips for other people currently fundraising for their Inspired Adventure?

Using social media all the time with regular posts and updates. All of my fundraising was done that way. Contact local papers, journalists, TV shows etc. Be prepared to present talks afterwards. I’ve presented at my previous school.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?

Considering the physical challenge of the Walk on the Wall, I think I had time to consider my body in place and time. Over the years, as I became less interested in caring for my body, I gained weight and became very unfit. I returned from the walk with renewed enthusiasm for walking and pushing my body to its limits. I have joined a local gym in Torquay and use the services of a personal instructor in order to develop strength and flexibility. I wanted to be able to focus on my legs and upper body strength, so the personal trainer designed a program of low impact cardio and resistance training for me. I am having a ball being physical again. I go to the gym 3 times a week and I walk every day. I am considering another Inspired Adventures for 2019.

"An Inspired adventure is a great way for you to feel as though you are doing something useful for society and also to help you develop yourself."

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

Listen to the advice of others, especially those who have completed this particular challenge. Friends who walk regularly advised me not to go, as I am unfit and have led a fairly inactive lifestyle. Do lots of stair climbing and rock walking in preparation. This walk is not a stroll on a path, but a highly demanding physical challenge that I was ill prepared for. An Inspired adventure is a great way for you to feel as though you are doing something useful for society and also to help you develop yourself. I say go for it!!

Fundraiser of the Month

Become our Fundraiser of the Month to win a $50 donation to your fundraising page!

Take a picture whilst fundraising for your adventure and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with a fundraising focus will be our Fundraiser of the Month – it’s that easy!


Adventurer of the Month – Phu Le

Phu Le

Cause: Epilepsy Foundation
Adventure: Great Wall Trek for Epilepsy
Fundraising Page: everydayhero.epilepsyfoundation
Social: @le.phu

As our Adventurer of the Month, Phu has scored himself a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher! To be our next month’s winner, make sure you upload your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

What inspired you to take on your Inspired Adventure with the Epilepsy Foundation?

My highschool friend Carly introduced the idea to me in January. I discussed it with my wife, Lai-Wan, and when we read that it was aiming to raise awareness about epilepsy and to help raise funds so that the Epilepsy Foundation can continue to provide wonderful support services to people living with epilepsy and their families then we both knew that we wanted to be involved.

My 3.5yo son, Ethan, has been diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome which is a very rare and devastating form of epilepsy so it’s been a tough journey working through that news as a family. Fortunately, we have had access to world-class medical experts, excellent hospital care, helpful education and a wonderful support network of caring family and friends.

The sad reality is that there are many other epilepsy sufferers out there who may feel very alone and who might not have the luxury of those things due to various circumstances but the Epilepsy Foundation works with them to bridge that gap and they also work with organisations and communities to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with epilepsy.

Although taking on this adventure will not fix Ethan’s condition nor will it miraculously find a cure for epilepsy, we are doing it with the hope that together with our supporters we can contribute towards making the lives of fellow epilepsy families better; and through talking about it more with local media, organisations, schools and various groups we can all help make them more aware about epilepsy and more accepting of the people who live with it.

How are you feeling about the challenge ahead? Have you ever been to China before?

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to bring more attention to the lack of awareness and funding around epilepsy. It’s such a common disorder yet it’s not commonly understood and it’s grossly underfunded in terms of research. The trek itself will be a physical challenge and I’m daunted by the thousands of stairs that we will need to climb each day but I’m also excited to visit China for the first time and step foot on such a world-famous landmark.

What have been some of the highlights of your fundraising experience so far?

We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed and humbled by the number of family, friends, colleagues and friends of friends who have jumped on board early to support this great cause with their generosity, encouragement and ideas. I’ve had people personally telling me that they didn’t know much about epilepsy beforehand which is great news as that means the awareness is slowly spreading. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and work with some very interesting, talented and passionate strangers who have helped me through this adventure.

"Although taking on this adventure will not fix Ethan's condition nor will it miraculously find a cure for epilepsy, we are doing it with the hope that together with our supporters we can contribute towards making the lives of fellow epilepsy families better"

What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?

To be honest I initially debated whether or not I should do this because it would be an expensive exercise for our family both financially and emotionally even though it wouldn’t bring any direct tangible benefits to help with Ethan’s condition. I felt guilty as a husband and as a father because doing this would mean spending our finances on things unrelated to helping Ethan’s condition and it would shift some of my focus away from my family.

I overcame this by thinking about all the times that we’ve felt excluded from various schools; the times when we felt judged by others due to the learning, development and behavioural side-effects of epilepsy and the medications needed to control it; and how lonely, lost, confused and broken we felt throughout our journey with epilepsy.

Thinking about the bigger picture, I wanted to make some form of difference in the way various groups and organisations treated people like Ethan and I wanted other people like Ethan and their families to get the help and support that they need and doing this adventure would give me that focus.

I also wanted to be a role model for Ethan – to show him that we can overcome big obstacles, that we can make a difference with something we believe in and that it’s humbling to do something good for someone else other than for our own benefit when we’re presented with that opportunity.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on the adventure?

It’s given me a sense of purpose in my personal life and while it can be stressful at times, knowing that I’m helping the epilepsy community and knowing that my supporters are all encouraging me allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment. Hey, I’ve even stopped wasting my life in front of the tv and using that time to do something worthwhile instead.

What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming adventure?

I’m looking forward to seeing a change in some local groups and having the awareness and acceptance around epilepsy spread further into the community, especially during March Epilepsy Awareness month. I’m very excited about completing the Great Wall trek with my dear friend Carly by my side and with my beautiful family, caring friends and kind supporters cheering me on in spirit.

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

Believe in yourself and your cause then others will follow. You’d be amazed at the support network that you have if you just reached out. Focus on the positives this adventure will bring to the people you are supporting and remember that together we can all make a difference, no matter how small it may seem.

Also don’t be afraid to ask questions and advice from your adventure guide and charity contact – I practically spammed them daily with every question under the sun when I started out. They will do everything they can to guide you along this exciting and fulfilling journey. It’ll be stressful at times but it will also be a lot of fun! Good luck!

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Become our Adventurer of the Month to win a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher

Take a picture whilst on your adventure or when you’re training and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with an adventure, and fitness focus will be our Adventurer of the Month – it’s that easy!


Travelling with Turia

We’re pretty lucky here at Inspired Adventures to cross paths with some amazing people. Turia Pitt is one such woman.

Turia’s life was turned upside down when she was caught in a bushfire while running an ultra-marathon in the Kimberley. After an intense (and ongoing) recovery period, Turia has become an ambassador for Interplast, a charity which exists to provide medical training and free rehabilitation surgeries to people throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Turia is an author, athlete, motivational speaker, engineer, and to us here at Inspired, a true adventurer—having trekked the Great Wall of China in 2014 and soon to conquer the Inca Trail.

With so many adventures ahead, we caught up with Turia to talk all things travel…

What is your earliest adventure memory?

We didn’t have a television when we were young, so naturally all we wanted to do was watch TV! We would climb up a tree onto the roof of our house, then jump from the roof of our house to the roof of our neighbour’s house. We’d then watch the neighbour’s TV through their skylight.

What is the one thing you can’t travel without?

My iPad. I’m an avid reader and I love that it lets you travel with a thousand books.

What is your favourite international destination?

Probably the island of Nuku Hiva—it’s within the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. There’s not much there and you really feel like you’re away from everything and at the end of the earth!

What do you do to settle into a long flight?

I find it really difficult to sit still on a flight. So I try to break it up: watch a movie, have something to eat, go for a walk around the plane, read a book, listen to a podcast, have something to eat (I take snacks), watch a movie… You get the idea…

How does fundraising adventure travel differ from a holiday?

People are constantly asked to donate money so the key to fundraising is thinking outside the box in order to do it differently. It can be really challenging… But that makes it more rewarding when you go on the adventure.

What destination surprised you the most?

Mongolia. Gers, yaks and grass dot the landscape for as far as the eye can see. The local people love playing games, especially wrestling, and they have a deep reverence for Genghis Khan.

If you could only visit one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

Huahine in French Polynesia. Great surf, great fishing and a really cool chilled out island vibe.

Quick questions:

Suitcase or rucksack?


Sailing or surfing?


Book or iPad?


Today or tomorrow?

I like them both!

Feeling inspired?

Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar to find a charity challenge perfect for you.

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Destination in profile: Great Wall of China

Imagine standing on top of the Great Wall of China. The crumbling rocks drop away dramatically on both sides and the hills roll away into the distance in greens and blues, as far as the eye can see. The meandering wall snakes across the crest of the hill, twisting and turning to the horizon. The manmade monstrosity is striking in contrast to the undisturbed nature, yet its 2000 years of existence have gently welcomed it to the surrounds. The only thing you can hear is the gentle crunch of rock underfoot from your fellow teammates and new friends and the flirtatious wisp of the breeze, cooling the warm air.Anyone who has experienced standing on the wall will understand why this place is so magical.  Since Inspired Adventures launched its first adventure to the Great Wall of China in 2006, over 170 passionate fundraisers have embarked on this adventure of a lifetime, raising over $750,000 for charities across Australia in the process.Originally, independent Kingdoms built sections of wall as lines of defense, and it was not until the Qin dynasty (221 – 207 BC), some 2000 years ago, that the wall was joined in its entirety. The Great Wall of China stretches over 8,000 km across the southern edge of inner Mongolia, from its scattered remains in Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Lake in the west. Now, some sections have returned to dust and the wall may have disappeared entirely had it not been for the boom of the tourism industry in recent decades.Perhaps somewhat ironically, the Great Wall never really did serve its purpose as an impenetrable line of defense. Guards could be bribed and it was used more as a highway for the transportation of goods across the country’s expanse.

Unsurprisingly, this emblem of Chinese history has become a popular destination for both the Chinese and travellers abroad. Trekking the Great Wall of China with Inspired Adventures is the perfect opportunity to escape the tourist crowds. You will venture far past the ‘do not enter’ signs, and hours will pass without seeing another living soul. You will experience both restored and unrestored sections of the wall, offering a striking reflection of the weathering effects of centuries of history.

Whilst it is one of the least physically demanding Inspired Adventures, trekking the Great Wall of China it is not a challenge to be taken lightly. The trek itself usually spans across 5 days, during which the team cover about 40 – 45 km. Days vary in difficulty, some long, snaking and undulating, others shorter and more intense. One thing is for certain though and that’s the steps. There are lots. Big ones and small ones. Fat ones and thin ones. Strong ones and crumbly ones. Steps of all stretches of the imagination.

China is a country blessed by an array of seasons. The Great Wall is at its best in the spring and autumn months, when the sun warms the surrounds and the days are pleasant, while the evenings offer a gentle reprieve from the heat of the day. It is not advisable to trek in the peak of summer due to the intense heat, and is, surprisingly, impossible to trek in the winter unless you’re prepared to wade through snow-covered hills.

It takes a special kind of person to take on an Inspired Adventure. If you would like an adventure of epic proportions, the Great Wall of China will be sure to exceed all expectations, and what better way to experience this wonder of the world than with a team of like-minded people who have all fundraised for an incredible cause.

Ready to witness one of the Seven Wonders of The World? Check out our upcoming adventures in our 2018 Calendar!