Today marks exactly one year since I packed my bag and moved to Hong Kong.
To this day, it still feels weird to say Hong Kong is home, yet it’s grown to be more and more like one. Time seems to be flying by but at the same time, a lot has happened in the past year which makes it feels longer than it is.
To celebrate this day, I decided to tour around my old neighborhood and let nostalgia hit me to the fullest. As I walked around the familiar streets in the rain with my favorite bubble tea in hand (I had to), I realized that despite all the ups and downs (lots of those these days), I am grateful to be here.
A year ago – I didn’t think this would be the life that I’m living. I took so many Ls, and I hit many rock bottoms this year. But also, I had a lot of fun.
I found my new friend group, people I now love spending time with, and I lucked out with such lovely coworkers that I actually get along with. I traveled to lots of new places (even did two international business trips, soon to be three 😉 ) Oh, and I fell in love one more time.
And I’m grateful. Grateful for the fact that I got to build a life here, for all the wonderful memories, and for having another year to look forward to.
I still remember how just last July, I only knew one person in town. I took my job without really meeting the people beforehand, and it could’ve gone so wrong, so easily.
As much as it was exciting, moving here was also scary, overwhelming, and incredibly lonely. In the words of my friend, Hong Kong is a lively city full of people everywhere – yet at the same time, it can be the loneliest place to be. And I felt this way for the longest time. But now a year later, after all the effort in socializing, I can honestly say that I’ve found people that helped make me feel like I belong.
At the same time, this year has also taught me how to be comfortable with myself alone, like really truly do. I’ve never spent this much time alone before, so for me, this was really hard to get used to. And, if you’ve seen my self-care post, I’ve also been trying to take care of with myself, both physically and mentally. I tried yoga for the first time, did some intense hikes, read lots of new books, and started this blog! The last few months have been such an interesting rollercoaster-like journey but I’m happy to report that things are now looking up, and a lot more stable than before.
So Hong Kong, even with your constant rain, horrid humidity, rude people, and crowded streets, looks like you and I are still far from done.
PS. For my future self to look back to, here are some of the best days we experienced in HK (courtesy of my phone’s backup memory):
- That one USC event
- Random golf day on the island
- The 3 (not so easy) hikes
- The many game days (Christmas edition was my fav)
- The many long talks and parks chilling
- ORII Christmas party (and many others since)
- A day well spent in Cheung Chau
- Junk and tram parties with my favorite people
- That one cheesecake factory day
- New apartment move-in day
- Anna’s visit
- Short getaways (in which I miss HK immediately)
- And lastly, every time I get bubble tea from Aboutea 😉