Somehow, my time in Hong Kong, for now, has come to an end. I’m not sure how that happened, since it really does feel like yesterday that I was standing on the doorstep in the middle of ladies market, meeting who would turn into my soul partner here for the next year. I know that it sounds cliched, but it really has gone by in a flash and I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun. As you can imagine, this might be quite the soppy post.
Hong Kong has been an amazing home this past year and I’m sad to be waving it goodbye. I’ve seen and done incredible things, been to new places, tried both delicious and ‘interesting’ food, hiked new trails, written for new publications, climbed new mountains, met beautiful people, learned new languages, seriously upped my insta game and come out with a new outlook and new dreams for my future. I’m not leaving this city the same person that I came as and I’m very very happy about that.
Hong Kong is going to be a really difficult goodbye. I love this city and everything and person that comes with it, but I am excited to start a new adventure.
But the following are some of the things I will and won’t miss about living here.
Things I will miss.
Fine, I’ll say it. I’m really going to miss my kids.
I never would have pegged myself as being one of those people that really loved teaching, but it so happens that I do. There’s definitely something very rewarding about seeing children learn and grow and I’m very sad that I can’t continue to see a fair few of them through their learning careers. Some of the children I have met are incredible, and will grow up to be wonderful and intelligent human beings. I’m glad that, even if it was just for a year, that I got to be a part of that process. That’s not to say, under any circumstances, that I haven’t come into contact with my fair share of kids that make you question why on earth you’re on this particular path – ‘devil child’ is a term that I have not being shy of using.
These kids have taught me a thing or two as well. Firstly – always stay really curious about the world and ask questions until you find an answer. Secondly – If you fall down, get up. A particularly useful one for someone who is as unbalanced as myself. Thirdly – Tell people how you feel. If you’re feeling like an angry dinosaur, tell people you’re feeling like an angry dinosaur. You’re entitled to feel exactly how you feel and nothing ever came from bottling up your feelings. And if you do happen to feel like an angry dinosaur, there are a whole lot of people in the world who are more than willing to put effort into making you a happy one – a lot of them will be under four years old. Fourthly – If someone steals your chair, it’s okay to cry in front of them until they move. Genuinely, I think that this could work like a charm in a more adult situation.
- The fact that you can be out of the city within half an hour.
Hong Kong may have one of the most iconic skylines in the world and there’s no denying that it’s a concrete jungle, but it doesn’t take long for you to escape it. I think this is something a lot of people who live or have lived here peg as their favourite thing about this amazing place. I’ve done some pretty breathtaking hikes, been to gorgeous islands and swam at beautiful beaches. Hong Kong is not just concrete and cosmopolitans. It’s got anything and everything that you could possibly want.
- Cheap avocados.
I don’t understand why avocados are so cheap here and I refuse to question it. Life is better with a bit of avo, bonus when you it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
- Living with Carly and Marcel.
It so occurred that I spent the year living with two beyond incredible and really inspiring people. I couldn’t have asked for two more beautiful people to come home to and walking into a home without them being there is really going to take some getting used to. Queue the cheesy, soppy rubbish that I try my hardest to avoid, I hope that I know them until I’m old and grey.
- All my other incredible friends.
I’m very certain they know who they are but I’m incredibly sad to be saying goodbye to such an amazing group of people. Living thousands of miles away from your family at 22 isn’t always easy, but I couldn’t have asked for better people to be my family here. I’m grateful that they have always looked out for me and not been afraid to tell me what they think.They are honestly some of the kindest and most selfless people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and I hope that it won’t be long until we see each other again.
- Dim Sum, egg waffles and every other incredible food that Hong Kong has got going on.
If Hong Kong can do anything correctly, it’s definitely food. Whatever you want, whatever time you want it, Hong Kong can do it for you and it can do it well. I’ve spent the year trying and tasting the most delicious food, alongside my food blogger friend, to come to the final conclusion that Hong Kong, without a doubt, is definitely a culinary capital of the world.
Things I will not under any circumstances miss
- The smell of stinky tofu.
As much as I enjoy walking down the street with my nose tucked into my sleeve, I think I’ll be okay without it.
- Getting cat called on ladies market at 7 in the morning.
Yes, sure I appreciate the wolf whistles and creepy up and downs at any time of the day, so unbelievably flattering of you – Do it at 7 am and I’m sure to stop what I’m doing and go home with you.
- Mong Kok madness
Having to fight through the streets of Mong Kok just to get home on an evening is definitely something I am happy to say bye to. Goodbye crowds, hello personal space. That’s not to say that Mong Kok doesn’t have its own local kind of charm, and I’m glad I got thrown into it rather than living in the island bubble, but one year is definitely enough of that. It’s going to be nice to walk down a street without shuffling.
- Terrible customer service.
As a sweeping generalisation, I find people here to be incredibly rude. Maybe that’s my overly polite British self shining through, but honestly, I’m really happy to be waving goodbye to people who sometimes just have no idea how to be a good person.
- Fearing for my life on a minibus
Sometimes I just go on for the rush – apparently I’m just an adrenaline junkie or something.
- Being in a state of perpetual sweating
People told me and people were right – Summer in Hong Kong is a sweaty one. Even having skin is one layer too many some days. High humidity, high temperatures and a heck of a lot of traffic is a bad combination for anyone wanting to look lovely and dry when they arrive at a location. That being said, you do get used to it. Or at least you just accept that you’re going to be sweaty.