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Blog // Travel
December 13, 2012

Hong Kong Revisited

This time tomorrow I will be heading to the airport to board a flight back to Hong Kong, almost eighteen months to the day since I moved away. This will be my second journey back since leaving and I’m really looking forward to it. My last visit was a rushed working trip over a year […]

This time tomorrow I will be heading to the airport to board a flight back to Hong Kong, almost eighteen months to the day since I moved away. This will be my second journey back since leaving and I’m really looking forward to it.

My last visit was a rushed working trip over a year ago. This time things are more casual. I’ll be doing some photography, but mostly catching up with friends and enjoying the season.

Of course, it will be a chance to relive old memories with a Star Ferry ride or two, coffee at Fuel Espresso, a martini at The Blue Bar and of course, some shopping and eating at familiar haunts.

Expatriate Journeys

I’ve met people who assume expats lead a shifting, rootless existence, with no ties to cities where they live. I guesss, to someone who has lived their whole life in one place, three or four years might seem like a blink of the eye.

But, when I look at my life, the five years or so I spent in my apartment in Hong Kong are actually the longest I’ve lived in any home, since leaving high school! In the context of my life’s journey, a few years there really was a long time!

Home But Not Home

After three years in Hong Kong I started to doubt the city would ever feel like home. It was certainly very hard for me to make friends. But, when it came time to say goodbye, leaving was harder than I had imagined it would be, even though I was certain in was the right decision.

Truth is I changed a lot in those fives years and much of it for the better. And, I watched my daughter enjoy her first years of school in a city I am sure will always be special fondness for her

Revisiting Is Always Kind Of Odd

There’s always a bizarre feeling when one visits a place that used to be home.

I remember revisiting London, a few years after leaving for Delhi. I was in an odd place, unsure if my recent career decisions had been right and walking around London with an odd feeling about the life we had left behind.

I decided to walk down my old street and past the house that had been home. Looking at the front door, I noticed a little piece of string sticking out from one of the numbers. I had unscrewed the house numbers, on our last Christmas there, to attach a wreath to the front door. I remember the day I hastily packed up the Christmas decorations (my daughter playing inside the house, still too young to help). Instead of unscrewing the numbers to remove the string properly, I had just cut the string and left it there.

Looking at that piece of string just set me off. One little piece of string, carelessly cut and thoughtlessly left in place was all it took to being a cascade of memories flooding down upon me.

Who knows what, if anything might trigger memories the life I had in Hong Kong. Whatever it might be, there’s certainly a lot to remember. A lot of ups, a lot of downs, many disappointments and even the odd triumph. Most of all there’s just the thankfulness for five safe and memorable years in an extraordinary city.

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