(This article is edited by Sara Bruestle and was originally published in the New Years edition of the Everett Herald)
I was awash in wonder as I climbed close to 1,000 steps to the top of the Great Wall of China. When I reached the top of the wall at Badaling — a tourist hotspot because it is the most magnificent section of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty — I realized I was alone. No other tourists were hiking the wall as far as I could see in either direction. It was eerily quiet.