10 Days Prior to Departure
I’m not sure if it was the expiration date of my study abroad experience looming over my head, but I was really soaking up my final weeks in Hong Kong. I had just arrived back from my trip to Sydney, Australia, so I came back to HK with a sense of appreciation for the things that make it different from anywhere else. Everything that I was doing was my “last” time doing it. My last time going to Sweet Taro Taro (my favorite Chinese style dessert shop), seeing the iconic skyline from my dorm, and going to the nearby running track with great views of the city and mountains. Everything made me feel very sentimental. But, at the same time, I was ready to escape the heat. During my last few weeks in Hong Kong it was consistently 100 degrees plus some due to the humidity. The one thing that made it feel like a Midwestern summer were the mosquitoes.
This is my favorite local dessert. I don’t know the official name only that it was letter E on the menu. It has taro tapioca, sago pearls, coconut milk, and sometimes black rice.
It was an odd feeling going out for one last meal with the friends I’d made during this time. It will most likely be a long time before seeing all of them again since they came from all over the world: Canada, Kazakhstan, California, Wisconsin, Mexico, Illinois, Australia.
Leaving Hong Kong
I recommend flying out in the morning so that you don’t have too much time to reminisce and become sad about leaving a place that you’ve grown to really appreciate and enjoy. It was a pretty quick checkout procedure and before I knew it I had three suitcases with me (one more than I came with) in an Uber on the way to the airport. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but suddenly I forgot about all of the difficult aspects of this experience and was feeling so thankful that I chose to study in Hong Kong.
I’ll miss being so close to the water, hiking, and vibrant culture. This was taken at Repulse Bay, where Tin Hau Buddhist temple sits right on the water.
This is off the coast of Sai Kung, a beach side town. The mountain in the background is Ma On Shan. During one of my first weeks in HK I said yes to hiking here which turned out to be the hardest and longest (6 hours) hike of my life. Later that day I had a sunburn and juicy burger.
1 Month Home
Sometimes I wish I had more time to reflect on my experience in Hong Kong. There will be times where something I’m eating or doing helps me recall a memory. But other than that, I don’t get to discuss many of the details of my experience. There are so many funny stories or random anecdotes that I have tucked away, but I don’t want to overshare when someone asks “so how was Hong Kong?”
I also found that it’s really easy to jump back into my Minneapolis life. I didn’t experience much reverse culture shock, which surprised me since I had heard and read a lot about it. I want to continuously remind myself how lucky I was to experience something so unique. I want to make sure that I remember all the life lessons I learned and to constantly push myself outside of my comfort zone. The cliches are true. The experience does change your perspective and attitude. So, thank you for coming along this adventure with me.