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We all came here with an intention - mainly to get out of our routines and find ourselves in peace amidst the unfamiliar streets, alleys, faces, and language of the busy super city named Hong Kong. This year's trip was originally planned to be a group getaway, something that Dennis and I have never done with our close friends yet. As if our minds were having their own conversation, one afternoon in November 2017, our good friends Anna of Hello Anna Jo and Arbi put out the idea of going to Hong Kong in 2018. It has always been our desire to save up and travel together, seeing it materialize gave me a certain sense of childlike joy and fulfillment! But sometimes, plans change and happen in the most unexpected manner and you can't do anything but hope for another chance or way to see that dream or plan happen in the future. 

Hong Kong happened this year with Arbi and my husband Dennis sans Anna. I somehow had a hard time coping up with this idea since it originally was her idea and I very much looked forward to being on this trip with someone as lively, positive, and creative as her. It took me months to get over this fact and hold on to the idea that maybe someday, we will be blessed with an opportunity to travel abroad again together.

Why am I pushing for the idea of travelling with friends?
 When you travel with a friend, you will get to know each other better because you are outside the comforts of your usual setting - may it be the workplace, school, or church. It gives you an equal opportunity to collect memories, stories, a fair share of adventures and misadventures, and of course additional pounds because of the many food options you see and buy along the way.  When you travel with friends, you share how you see things and respect the notion that you may not always see things the same way. I think this is the best way to travel because you get to share your own perspective of a place, a scenario, a person, or even the music that you hear. When you travel with friends, you somehow get to relax more and design your own itinerary according to your interests and agenda. The experience of traveling with family and friends have their own charm and I have experienced both ways, but I guess to be more specific, traveling with friends strengthen your sense of trust and camaraderie.
 This trip was a much needed time for the three of us. For Arbi, this was probably for the lack of the better term, a lot of firsts - his first trip outside the country, his first getaway from his first job, his first time out with friends, and probably a whole lot more. 
For Dennis and I, this was another opportunity to spend time together without the pressure of work and errands. We really took our time in Hong Kong and to be honest, I wish we spent more days there. People would probably disagree, but hear me out. Hong Kong, no matter how dense and busy it is, has a lot of layers. More than the high end glamour of brands, demanding expectations of work, busy streets filled with red taxis, trams, and buses, hovering heights of buildings, and flooding of cha chaan tengs, Hong Kong has a lot of vignettes to offer. You need to spend time looking and observing. I think this is the best way to say and claim that you experienced the real Hong Kong.
Our trip featured a lot of walking and navigating and this gave us a lot of opportunities to run into unexpected places and faces. Looking up means having to see a gallery of colorful blocks, busy wirings and electrical ducts, and the gleaming noise of people and vehicles running along the background. There was so much color in this trip - literally and figuratively and I shall write about these memories on a weekly basis!
Hong Kong is a large gallery filled with different textures and personalities. It's definitely a place for a creative soul seeking for a specific inspiration - every station we got out of was a somehow reminiscent of different scenes from a movie and the genre changes along with its character and sound. If you look beyond the idea of shopping, there are a lot of things to do in Hong Kong, you do not even have to spend to much to be able to enjoy these things! Aside from the efficient train and bus system, I would have to say that walking is one of the best ways to enjoy each nooks and crannies of Hong Kong.
Art was everywhere in this place. It's in every corner and found in the most unexpected place or manner. I felt that whenever I thought I already saw everything I needed to see, I discover another layer to be peeled, another tone to be heard, another texture to be felt. The romance between my heart, my eyes, my mind and this place was truly sublime - the overwhelming idea of being lost, being enveloped by decay and development, and being around unfamiliar faces who were on a run or chase just made me stop and think between my walks and photographs.
 For this travel series, I shall be writing about my different experiences in Hong Kong - from the most personal observations to the most absurd, from funny encounters with words, people, and art to the unexpected treasure finds. Unlike Bangkok and Korea, this series will not be talking about specific places (or maybe some might) rather, I shall showcase in the medium of photographs and words the general and specific scenarios I witnessed during our walks and food search.
I miss the combined scent of tarts, waffles, and meat. The cold weather was also a plus in this trip. It definitely made all the walking more bearable and enjoyable.
 In the middle of this short trip, we were taken care of our warm hosts Ken and Anita of Kam Mun Guest House. Staying at an Airbnb was a great decision because we got to somehow experience the real living conditions of Hong Kong - the tight floor area, the pocket bathroom, the smell of cigar on the elevator, the alienating charm heard from a completely foreign language, and even the walk to and from the accommodation. More than anything, this kind of immersion is what you take home with you and I personally believe that it makes you a more considerate, courteous, and conscious individual.
And how can I forget about our side trip to Macau? This is definitely the best decision we made despite the short period of time that we had. We were able to see both spheres of this side of China and it shall all be included in the blogroll!
One of our main agendas in this trip was to hunt for Neon Lights. It's considered to be a dying art in Hong Kong now but it is definitely one of the defining elements of this place. This activity challenged our navigating skills but we were rewarded with a feast when we finally found our way.
This marks the beginning of my HK series and I am looking forward to sharing more to you!

Until the next HK adventure,


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