100 Days: Hong Kong

Waiting on the runway at Heathrow, we realised our trip was exactly 100 days long.

DSCF4429

First stop – Hong Kong!

DSCF4439 DSCF4473 DSCF4496DSCF4447

Extremely jetlagged and extremely overexcited, we had arrived! Hong Kong was a fantastic place to start the trip – different enough to feel we had definitely Gone Somewhere Else, but familiar enough that we could find a Starbucks fix when our hostel told us we couldn’t check in for another 4 hours… The famous city smog also helped give it a really mysterious, other-worldly atmosphere.

This was the first big Asian city of the trip, and the one we would go on to compare the rest to. Rob can tell you about the sights and the history, but I always focus on the feel of a place. Hong Kong feels high-powered and futuristic, full of sharp suits and even sharper skyscrapers. There are walkways in the sky and everything is neon. And there are people everywhere – Kowloon, where we stayed, is the most densely populated place on the planet. It wasn’t so noticeable over the weekdays, but once it hit Saturday, you could really tell. That’s something I like about travelling; you are constantly reminded that you are just one of millions, and millions, and millions of people on this Earth, all of them going about their lives with no awareness of yours, and you have no awareness of theirs. It’s definitely not all about you!

DSCF4498 DSCF4499 DSCF4457

I will remember Hong Kong at night time. That’s when it really feels alive, rather than just a big city – when the neon lights up and the streets are still packed at midnight. We crowded the waterfront for the light show (a must-see, though not actually that impressive), spent hours weaving through the night markets and slurped noodles at teeny plastic tables. We also snuck into the world’s highest bar at the top of the Ritz Carlton, having been assured by our hostel that if you act like you know where you’re going, they’ll just assume you’re a guest. We felt incredibly scruffy – but it worked! And hey, posh people can be scruffy too, right?

I will also remember Hong Kong for getting hopelessly lost. Not while getting around – that was easy – but in shopping malls! You think you’re taking a short cut then 2 hours later, you’re still in there. They’re all indoors, they’re all absolutely spotless (as is everything in this city – I kept thinking how much they would hate the Tube), and they all have the same shops! It’s like some kind of never-ending hall of mirrors, with added Louis Vuitton handbags. Very confusing.

DSCF4512DSCF4518DSCF4528DSCF4543

Hong Kong mixes it up too, though – something we were about to learn was typical in Asia, smooshing the very very old right alongside the very very new. We took the incredible cable car ride (Note: people from Everywhere Else – it’s not a gondola, it’s a cable car!) up and over the mountains to the Big Buddah. While we were slightly disappointed (if not that surprised) to find a Subway at the top, the beautiful Buddhist monastery behind was one of my favourite places of the whole trip. Early on to make such a statement, I know! But the sense of peace I felt there was something I hadn’t ever really experienced before. I didn’t know a place full of so many people could feel so calm. That tranquility and certainty is something I hope to find again in the future.

But first, we had a plane to catch, and I had a bridge to climb. Next stop, Sydney!

DSCF4569

If you want to read the post I wrote for Oneworld365 about Hong Kong, you can find it here!

Advertisements

It’s on.

Do you remember a little earlier this summer, when I told you I wanted to go here?

NZ

And here?

sydney

Oh, and here?

halong

And some other places too…

Well. Oh, people. Well. It’s happening.

I’m going.

12th of November.

I’m going travelling.

I’m FINALLY GOING TRAVELLING!!

After how many years of talking about it? And saving up for it?! And trying in vain to convince all my friends that one day I would actually go and do it?!

It’s got to be at least… *counts* 7 years. I was very, very close to doing a gap year before University, and I remember the moment that sold it for me. I was sat in a Geography lesson and we were watching a video about the Galapagos Islands, and I just thought… there is so much to see in the world. That there is so much more to this life than the little triangle that contained my school, my house, and the shopping centre where I worked. And I could go to the Galapagos Islands if I wanted to. I could go and see it.

And now I finally am.

Well, not the Galapagos, but that’s still on the list. But I am going to Hong Kong, Sydney, Fiji, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. I’ve told the landlord (scary). Today I told the boss (scarier). And now I’ve told him, I can tell you!

I want to just burst whenever I think about it – I can’t handle trying to think about it all at once, I have to break it down into bits! Now that we’ve both told our bosses we can ramp up the planning, so it’s all systems go from here. We’re even moving in with Rob’s aunt and uncle for the last month, to save money! (Is it weird I’m really looking forward to that? It’ll be really nice to live in a house… and it’s OK, because they aren’t his parents 😉 !)

I’m slightly terrified about the prospect of being unemployed for the first time since, well… ever, when I come back – the boy will be too, but will have pupillage lined up for September. Me? Well, it’s up to me when I get back! Realistically my prospects are pretty good – I’m even going to be blogging for a travel site while I’m out there (more on that later) – and being frustrated about being home with no cash will spur me to get cracking on the job hunt.

Now that we’ve told everyone it’s just like a clock ticking down. It feels like all the little things that annoy me about our flat are even more annoying than normal, now that I know we’re leaving soon. Can’t wait. Cant. Freaking. Wait. It’s finally happening, people. It’s on!