There’s no question that I am an introvert. My college days definitely helped me get out of my shell but after moving back to Hong Kong, I am slowly going back into it. But if I am in my box (aka my tiny room) all the time, my mind starts to go crazy. It’s natural that people need human interactions no matter how introverted you are. So I had to start finding opportunities and events that interests me so I can meet and interact with people other than myself.
My friend recommended me to go on meetup.com and just browse around to see what the city has to offer in terms of my interests. There are a lot of categories to explore like outdoors, photography, food & drinks et. And within each category, you can find groups to join and be notified the next time there’s an event. Even though I never went to an event through Meetup, it’s a good way to explore what’s around.
I’ve always seen these “Instameets” event posts on my Instagram feed but never thought of attending one. Coincidentally, Instameet Hong Kong was hosting one right where I lived so I had no excuse of not going. I got to meet a lot of new people and put faces to Instagram accounts that I’ve been following. It also showed me Instagram in a different light other than just liking and commenting on photos or just scrolling through your feed.
There are a lot of in-person classes you can take in Hong Kong from cooking to languages to leather crafts, there’s gotta be something for you. I’ve wanted to learn Korean for the longest time and I finally decided to take classes through Daehan Korean Language School. It definitely made a difference for me to have something to look forward to at the end of the week.
Going home for the first time in eight months was weird to say the least. I had been counting down the days until I could see all my friends and family again. After the initial shock, it feels exactly the same. It felt like I had never even left. I guess this is why it is called ‘home’ – because no matter how long you have been away or how many other places you have lived in, you can really only call one place your ‘home’. I was the happiest I had been in a while during this week. It was overwhelming to go from not having many friends to being surrounded by your closest friends all at once.
By the end of the week, I just didn’t want to go back to London. I just wanted to sleep in all day and hang out with my dog. Time moves so quickly in the city and it has been a while since I was able to slow it down and just relax in the suburbs. I am grateful for all that I have done this year but I have reached a point where I feel that I have accomplished what I came to London for. I wanted to be exposed to a new culture and environment, travel, build up some knowledge at work and I really feel like I have done that. Getting back on the plane made me feel the most homesick I have ever been.
It’s true what people say, “you don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone.” I’ve just moved back to the Bay Area and there are certain things I miss about Hong Kong already.
- Convenience – The subway system in Hong Kong is just amazing (if only BART could be half as good). You can pretty much get to most of Hong Kong with the subway or public transportation in general.
- Tipping – There’s no need to tip when eating out in Hong Kong (some places may include a 10% service charge on the bill).
- Tax free shopping
- Architecture – I have a thing for photographing architectures and Hong Kong is filled with them. Modern or old, Hong Kong’s architecture is one of a kind and you can never run out of places to shot!
- City vibe – I lived right next to the subway and highway in Hong Kong and there would always be sounds of cars or the trains going by during the wee hours of the night. Though I didn’t exactly enjoy those sounds, I do kind of miss it since it’s very quiet at night where I live now.
- Food – Food is everywhere! You can have a noodle shop, Japanese restaurant, dessert place, cafe, coffee shop, bakery, dumpling shop, seafood restaurant and fast food restaurant all on one short block.
- Public holidays – Hong Kong is one of the countries with the most public holidays.
After living in Hong Kong for 3 years, there are a few things I am still not used to:
- The hot and humid summer days
- Forgetting which way to look before crossing the streets because drivers in Hong Kong drive on the left instead of the right
- Bad air pollution
- The amount of people who smoke on the streets
Relationships are hard. Long distance relationships are damn near impossible. One of the questions I get asked the most is “How do you deal with a long distance relationship?”
The answer is this – It gets easier… but not by much. My boyfriend and I have been together for two years now (6 months of which were long distance). We came from working in the same building and having lunch together every day to a 5,000 mile distance and an 8 hour time difference.
Continue reading “(Very) Long Distance Relationships”