Option One: Start digging, eventually you’ll make it to the other side of the world.
If option one is not possible, then the process is a bit more complicated.
You need to purchase a plane ticket. If you live somewhere like the great southwest you’ll undoubtably have to fly on more than one plane.
Apply for a visa to China. If you do not live in a city that processes visas you will have to use a visa service. I paid $215 for the visa, shipping, and processing fee.
Then start packing. Check out my post about packing.
Get to the airport two hours in advance of your flight time. This meant that I had to go down to Albuquerque the night before as my flight was at 6:20am. I arrived in San Francisco at 8:00am. Since I already had gone through security I didn’t have to go back through even for an international flight. Basically I had four hours to kill. In hindsight, I could have taken a later flight from Albuquerque to San Francisco.
Finally board the plane and endure the 13 hour plane ride. Thankfully it’s a little more bearable as they do show recent movies and tv shows for the entire flight. I watched frozen Frozen and Saving Mr. Banks. Eating helps pass the time as well.
We also were served a midway snack flight of a ham sandwich and ice cream sandwich.
So after a few movies, tv shows, a little nap, and lots of sitting, China was beneath the wings of the plane.
After the landing, it’s a shuffle of people getting off the plane, a wait in a line for customs, and a walk to find the exit. At this point it just feels like an airport, not a new country (except the signs are in 中文 as well as English).
Welcome to China.