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Dragonkeeper999's Summer Bucket List Watch

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    Day 37 (23/08):

    Spent today seeing the last few things in UB, including the national museum, another monastery and a performance of traditional dance and song at the theatre. Completed 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 as usual.

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    Day 38 (24/08):

    Went on a tour with the Taiwanese guy I met on the train to the Bogd Khan mountain national park. Hiked up the mountain, visited a shaman site at the top, then visited a local museum and the ruins of an ancient monastery.

    Completed 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 as usual

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    Day 39 (25/08):

    Went on a tour to some famous sand dunes, rode a camel and stayed overnight in a traditional yurt/ ger (a round tent-like house traditionally used by nomadic Mongolians). Unfortunately public transport is pretty much non-existent in Mongolia outside of the capital so I'm having to join a tour group for the next three days. That being said, everyone else on the tour is super friendly - there's a family of three from the UK, me and the Taiwanese guy I met on the train.

    Had a slight disaster en route when we stopped off for lunch (tried some local milk tea and beef noodles - really good!) when the van broke down, so we had to wait around for two hours for another van. Luckily this didn't happen any further away from UB...

    Completed 4, 5, 6, 10 as usual, however the lack of internet meant I couldn't review my Chinese characters on Memrise and I hadn't thought to bring any paper with me :'(
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    Day 40 (26/08):

    Second day of the three day tour of the countryside in Mongolia. Spent ages in the van driving to the Hustai National Park which is really famous for it's horses and wildlife. Unfortunately only had a couple of hours in the park itself so didn't actually see the horses :'( but the scenery was really beautiful and there was a lot of smaller wildlife like giant birds of prey, marmots, giant crickets, etc. Then drove to the Terelj National Park where we stayed overnight in another yurt - this one in a tourist camp rather than a traditional nomadic family though.

    Completed 4, 5, 6, 10 as usual - with the lack of WiFi preventing me from completing 8 :'( Something of a challenge eating lots of vegetables in Mongolia too - apparently the Mongolians put a lot of emphasis on meat in their cooking, considering vegetables to be something of a poor-man's-food so it is rarely served in meals. Luckily I'd stocked up on fruit at the supermarket before the tour
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    Day 41 (27/08):

    Last day of the Mongolian countryside tour. Spent the day mostly in the Terelj National Park - visited a small local monastery, hiked around the mountains (...hills...) and rode a horse for an hour or so. Then went to visit the famous Genghis Khan statue on the way back to UB - was pretty impressive and we were able to climb up inside to stand on top of the statue which gave some pretty awesome views.

    Completed 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 as usual - finally had WiFi after arriving back in my hostel this evening

    Prepared the August Newsletter for my website's email subscribers, which basically just collects together the most interesting articles on the website and encourages everyone to check out the opportunities database again
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    A reflection...


    So apparently the Summer Bucket List Challenge is now officially over :'( I had a great time and it definitely encouraged me to get out a bit more, so I thought I'd do a reflection piece on how successful or not I was...

    In terms of ticking off everything on the list, I achieved 8/11, which isn't too bad. Unfortunately a lack of internet in Mongolia sabotaged item 8 (Memrise), but for 7 (ChineseClass101) and 9 (Chemistry revision) I have no real excuse... I just kinda forgot... It's definitely emphasised to me the importance of actually scheduling things in really - the items I had to completed everyday quickly became a habit whereas I left updating my website and doing a ChineseClass101 episode until Sunday night all too often... Admittedly for item 9 (Chemistry revision) in reality I have an absolute deadline of October and perhaps aiming to get it all done in 6 weeks alongside my internship and travelling was a little ambitious, although if I'd actually just sat down for a long weekend and done it (rather than travelling though... there's always a compromise...) then it should have been achievable.

    On a more positive note, this summer I've had an awesome time meeting new people, trying new food and seeing new places - and without the Summer Bucket List Challenge I would definitely have been a lot more tempted to stay inside some weekends and evenings rather than getting out the dorm. I managed 10 press-ups and sit-ups everyday, something I think I will try to keep up - admittedly I rarely did any more than that, despite my original idea being that once I'd started exercising I'd do a bit more, but at least I did something. Reviewing Chinese characters and completing the audio lessons has definitely helped to refresh my memory of everything I studied this year - I've not really pushed it any further in terms of learning new vocab or grammatical structures, instead just making sure I don't forget too much, but it was still very helpful. The more frequent website updates haven't yet had much impact on statistics in terms of how many people visit the site etc., but it's helping to make sure there's plenty of recent content on there which should help in the longer term. In the future, I should probably focus a bit more on finding featured STEM opportunities and also on doing more social media promotion since there's always a small spike in new views after posting to Twitter.

    So yeah, overall very positive with a few learning points
 
 
 
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