Hong Kong

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view from the ferry
I just had a check up (yes, I leisurely went to the doctor after work today) and I’ve officially been seizure-free for a good 5 months!


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sipping some Hong Kong Tea

If case you haven’t gathered by now, it’s a bit obvious that I relish having my plate full. Not just full –  bursting at the seams. And while I was never one to put on the “Penn Face” – I simply enjoyed going a thousand MPH every day, all the time – I overestimated how much I could physically take being so rushed and sleepless all the time. Much to my chagrin, after many months of rushing through my daytime finance job (which I disliked, to put it lightly), then heading out to a social event with friends, then eventually getting back to my tiny apartment to work on problem sets and write my thesis for my (full-time) masters degree into the depths of the night almost every single day, I started getting constant headaches that never seemed to go away. I thought I’d started getting migraines and cursed my luck that I was forced to go home and curl up in a ball some days after work instead of checking off the thousands of things that were on my never-shortened list. Finally a concerned friend made a doctor’s appointment for me, cancelled some meetings, and forced me to go. And I found out I’d been having mini-seizures for the past few months!

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This little piece of news forced me to reexamine my priorities. I plan on living for a looooooooooong time (and accomplishing a lot during that long life! ;)) and having these mini-seizures didn’t seem like a healthy way to start my early 20s. Thankfully the most controllable mental and physical stressor was winding down (I graduated with my masters in May), which cut down on my screen time by at least 5 hours a day. I loved my social and community service engagements too much to cut down – they were probably the only thing keeping me sane! – which left one last thing: my job. There were a lot of great things about my last role and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity, but I was so extremely unhappy for around 80% of my waking hours (which, by the way, was a lot since I didn’t really sleep…) due to being at work. And if you know me at all, it doesn’t take much to make me happy, so something was seriously off.

I took off a few days immediately after that appointment to sit on a beach in Florida (M had a work trip so I tagged along), not check my emails, sit by the pool while reading LOTR fan fiction (LOL), and overall not do anything for five entire days. I usually lose energy from “relaxing”, but I suppose something was seriously wrong physically when my body craved the inactivity, for once.

And after I came back to NYC (they were passive-aggressive angry that I took off so last minute), I found a more challenging, yet somehow much more fun, job (which I currently love so far – ask me about it!), quit the job that I hated, booked our tickets to Asia, and headed to Hong Kong before moving to Boston.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, cloud, sky, outdoor and natureThus Hong Kong will always have a wonderful place in my life for jump-starting my (very rapid, and happy) physical recovery.

Image may contain: 1 person, fire and outdoorAnd now the rest of this post is dedicated to our photos and exciting activities while in Hong Kong. Thanks for listening to my terribly boring medical update!

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reunited with DF! She got engaged shortly after this:) Congrats D!!!!!

After our layover in Switzerland, we took another red-eye to humid Hong Kong. The train from the airport was incredibly convenient and clean. My HK friend told me about buying tickets for the train using the Klook app to get a 20%ish discount, and it was easy to do so since WiFi was so prevalent immediately after landing. We actually used the Klook app many more times during our time in HK since they had pretty good discounts on many tourist attractions. WiFi was available on two cars of the airport train so I easily coordinated meeting my friend at her office to pick up her keys.

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DF was one of my very first friends in college but now she lives across the world in her glamorous life 😦 She was unfortunately traveling the entire time we were in HK so we only met up with her for happy hour in the financial district. She then handed us her keys to her glamorous apartment in the Mid-Levels, which we traveled to from the financial district by taking the traveling elevators “up” the island. So cool! (except it wasn’t, because it was so hot. Har, har.)

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exploring a night market in MongKok

Because of jet lag, we woke up very early the next day (a Saturday) to hike up Victoria’s Peak! There’s a tram to get up to the top, but we wanted to do it the hard way and walk straight up to the top in 100% humidity. After setting out at around 6 AM we made it to the top a few hours later, and paid 50 HKD to go to the viewing deck once it opened at 9 AM (there were plenty of other nice, free viewing platforms, but we wanted to go to the very top. Plus everything seemed so cheap to us because of the conversion rate!)

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Throughout out time in Hong Kong, it monsooned multiple times. We ate delicious food, sticking mostly to hole-in-the-wall places for cheap duck noodles (all cash-only) and congee. We got a bit tired of the food after a few days (curses of living in NYC with all its cosmopolitan food all the time) but weren’t interested in spending more money for more expensive meals. Hong Kong is an interesting hodge-podge of old meets new, and we were awed by all the luxury stores in juxtaposition with ancient bakeries.

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We really enjoyed the Museum of Hong Kong History (free!) and were amused by the Sun-Yat Sen museum. One of my favorite days was when we visited Lantau Island to see the Giant Buddha. We took Ngo Ping 360 (a glassdoor cable car) across the mountain to visit the temples and Tian Tan Buddha. We also took the bus from the Buddha to visit an old fishing town (Tai O).

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cable car through the mountains and over the sea.
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it was wonderful being exposed to a place of worship other than a church or cathedral, high up in the mountains. perfectly spiritual

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Another day (a monsoon day) we spent all day at Ocean Park! We originally wanted to go to Hong Kong Disneyworld, but it didn’t look that great. Ocean Park was super fun, minus the rain. I even went on a few crazy upside down roller coasters!

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the “American” size at Ocean Park. Lol.

The last day before our flight, we hiked Dragon’s Back. It was incredibly muddy but had beautiful views, and was an easy enough hike for the humidity. Highly recommend!

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met up with old college friends for food, dessert, and Line Bear mutilation on our last night!

And don’t worry, we actually had plenty of time to relax in the beautiful apartment, nap throughout the day, and simply enjoy vacation. I watched a lot of TV in bed when I couldn’t sleep. It was wonderful.

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Strangely, for being a major Asia metropolitan city, it’s completely engulfed in nature and the jungle. We had the best time and the city was a wonderful gateway to the rest of our Asia trip! Next stop: Japan.

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