Naturally, she and Yongden set to travelling, seeing Korea and Japan, and then taking a tortuous and dangerous journey from east to west across the entirety of a Chinese empire that was collapsing into civil war. She witnessed murders and battles, had to barter for passage with warlords and despots, crossed Mongolia and the Gobi desert, became incredibly ill, often nearly starved (at one point having to boil her own boots for food) and yet still managed to get to Kum Bum, Tibet.
From there she disguised herself as a beggar, pretending to be the servant of Yongden, and crossed a frozen, 19,000-foot mountain pass in the dead of winter to get into the forbidden city of Lhasa. Over days the pair got horrifically lost, with no trail to follow but a frozen stream. One day and night they hiked for 19 hours straight until they were finally able to penetrate down a valley that led to their goal.
Remaining disguised, they were able to stay for two months until they were finally discovered and sent packing by the British.
At one point in her sixties (1937) when she was again stricken by the lust for adventure, she returned to China only to see Japanese imperialism at its height, ripping the country apart. She was often idled there by the ravages of war (and poverty) and only through huge struggle and deprivation managed to get out to India – and much of that journey was on foot in her late 70s.