Once every year, I try to take a real vacation from work where I am virtually off the grid (no email or phone) so that I can take my mind off of the office and just enjoy myself. For my two weeks this year, I went to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau with my sister, my mother and her friend (also one of my best friend’s mother). It was quite the journey – full of activities/sightseeing, food, and hanging out with friends.
My original list of things to do and eat included (in no specific order):
- Celebrate Mom’s birthday
- Go to the Peak
- Eat lots of street food (especially chee cheong fun AKA rice noodle roll since it’s served with a peanut sauce, hoisin sauce, hot sauce, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Here’s a good example of how it’s made)
- Shopping at the markets
- See the Big Buddha
- Visit Ocean Park
- Dim Sum
- Visit museums (Here’s a list of the museums and it’s free admissions every Wednesday)
- Hang out with friends and family
- Take the ferry
- See the Hong Kong night skyline at Victoria Harbour
- Visit immigration about getting a HK identification card
It’s an extensive list but I was being very ambitious until the end, when I realized that I managed to accomplish most things minus seeing the Big Buddha and visiting Ocean Park.
It was a learning experience in terms of: learning more about myself (how I like to travel, personal growth, lifestyle choices), learning about my mother and her travelling style, learning that my sister has a whole different side to her when she’s with her boyfriend, and that I’m not sure I could live in Hong Kong.
Let me elaborate. Hong Kong is a fantastic city to visit because it’s a modern city where there is constant movement. The pace of life is definitely faster than life in Toronto, even their escalators are moving twice as fast so you don’t need to walk up them to go past people; it already gets you to your destination faster! Time is money and money helps you accomplish more things in life (this is true for most places) but people of Hong Kong also don’t have time for bullshit. Eating at a restaurant is often about ordering when you sit down, get your food quickly, hoover your food down and getting out of there as soon as you’re done to move onto your next task. This process is repeated for most of your day: buying groceries, getting on public transportation, and shopping.
After being there for two weeks, the constant go-go attitude of Hong Kong people made me not really want to live there because it’s fast, really fast and if you don’t get on the bandwagon, it’s hard to fit keep up in all aspects of life. However, it did make me realize that I should be more productive with my time and do things that I want to accomplish without procrastinating. You end up feeling better about yourself because 1) you’ve accomplished your goal, 2) you have more time to accomplish your other goals and not having any regrets and 3) hard work yields results (an intrinsic feeling of success).
This post has mainly been about Hong Kong. More on Singapore and Macau to come!