As someone who suffers from a serious case of “grass is greener” syndrome, long trips keep me from losing my mind. They open my eyes to different cultures; they change my perspective; and they force me to stop standing still in my everyday life. In just a few short days, Hong Kong has already reignited my energy with its vibrance and beauty.
I walked nine hours on my first full day here. (Also known as “competitive touristing,” a sport my dad and I perfected in 2007 when he visited me in D.C. for a very brief 40 hours. Basically, you do as much as you can in as little time as you can. And then you drop.) As you can imagine, I only saw a fraction of what Hong Kong has to offer.
I’m staying near the Fortress Hill MTR stop on Hong Kong Island, and I started my journey by walking east toward the Central District, which is considered downtown. I almost immediately got taken out by a cab. Apparently, they drive on the other side of the street here. Oops. Sorry, Mom. Won’t happen again. (Unless you count almost getting hit by a moped on my second day. But THEN it won’t happen again.)
After my heartbeat slowed to its normal pace, I went on my merry way. I saw people performing tai chi exercises in Victoria Park. I marveled at the architecture and fountains. I ducked into the air conditioned shops of the World Trade Center. I ate seafood laksa and impressed my waiter by using chopsticks instead of a fork. I drank an iced coffee at a place called Pacific Coffee, which was a much more adventurous alternative to one of the six Starbucks I passed. I wandered to the ferry terminal and watched many boats travelling in the harbour. I windowshopped at the IFC Mall. I giggled at the monkeys in the Zoological and Botanical Gardens. I climbed a lookout tower at Hong Kong Park, which was still much shorter than many of the buildings in the city. I drowned in my own sweat. I watched the city lights over kale salad and beer (like I always say, well-balanced meals are the best fuel for competitive touristing). I broke in my TOMS and navigated the MTR back home to my hotel.
And then I dropped.
* Title inspired by The Head and the Heart “Lost in My Mind.”