Hong Kong; my first stop and my first ever visit to Asia. As far as a first place to visit in Asia goes, I couldn’t have picked a better city to ease me into any culture shock. Since Hong Kong was an English colony, absolutely everything is in both Cantonese and English, so I had no issues getting my bearings whatsoever. I even had 3G, meaning Citymapper and Google were at my full disposal. The downside meant that I found it far too easy to indulge in the superb selection of western food that they have in HK – I had brunch THREE times. However, I did manage to have the most amazing dim sum at the Michelin star restaurant Din Tai Fung, snack on some fish balls, drink plenty of “Tsin Tao” and have a bubble waffle! I will try harder to embrace the Asian food when I come back again next year, I promise.
Hong Kong is absolutely beautiful. It is oddly a lot smaller than I would have expected, yet the buildings, roads and trees are so big, and the density of people is so large that it feels a lot more overwhelming than London. The public transport system is an absolute dream, and there are tonnes of cool spots to eat, drink and socialise. The trend of hiring a ‘junk’ to drink on and take you to another island is way cooler than drinking in a bar any day.
Since I was visiting friends, I got to meet expats rather than tourists, which made all the difference for how much of a feel I got for the city. It was great because didn’t feel like an unattached tourist, visiting only the top ten tourist spots and not really getting to know the hidden gems. It also meant that my full on #gapyah wardrobe was slightly (very) questionable. Both Hettie and Suyin made it very clear that my ‘functional yet fashionable’ walking sandals were, in fact, just functional.
The expats I met were driven, interesting and full of life experience. Living and working in a completely foreign city is a massive step for someone to make, and it was so great to see how well both Suyin and Hettie have settled in and made it their own; I’m so proud of them! The great thing about working in a foreign city is that it gives a slight feeling of being on holiday, as there will always be something new to do at the weekends, yet you still have the purpose (and stress) of going to work and having to make a means. The hustle and bustle of a multicultural cities like London and Hong Kong makes daily life that much more interesting and challenging. I found that in London, where work and play would intertwine in a completely hectic way that made me high on life. Seeing how fun it is to be an expat makes me all the more excited to do my internship in Hanoi next year – so I can experience the full immersion into an Asian city for myself!
The more I visit and explore other big cities, the more I realise how much of a city girl I am and always will be. Though, that being said, I am more than excited for the next leg of my trip where I will be fully immersing myself in the stunning scenery of New Zealand! As Teddy would say: “I’m going to jump in SO many lakes!” Other than a quick stop off with a Second Cousin and spending Christmas with some incredibly welcoming family friends, my 40 days in NZ are going to be as a fully fledged lone wolf! I’ve never actually travelled alone before, but as I sit on this 11-hour flight, I am a lot more excited than I am nervous.
Keep on keepin up with my daily diaries and lil GoPro Quik vids on my Instagram, if you’re interested. My Nan got Instagram especially to see them #cute.
Much love, Beth xoxo