A Travellerspoint blog

October 2012

The difficult part about traveling...

There is no doubt that I am currently on one of the most exciting journeys of my life. I get up every morning in a different country than my own and the one major thing on my list of "things to do" is explore! Everyday I am so fortunate to see many beautiful and interesting things, I am truly living an experience that I will carry with me forever. 
Throughout this journey I am also lucky to meet so many new people. With some I have short encounters but with others we click instantly and end up spending a lot of time together. Here lies the difficult part of traveling... Because I am traveling on my own, I do tend to get pretty close with some of my friends here. We spend hours together, we get lost together, experience amazing things together... And then with a blink of an eye we go our separate ways and we are left feeling a bit sad wondering if we will ever see each other again. 

I woke up the other morning with that same "sad" feeling that I'm getting quite familiar with by this point.
A new friend I had made here in Bangkok had to take a taxi to the airport very early in the morning. We both fell asleep without realizing that we should say bye. As I was getting up I noticed that her bed was empty and all of her belongings were gone. ....Again I had that sort of empty feeling inside. 
But as I got out of bed I noticed that she had left me a little note on my backpack. It was short and sweet but it was perfect. Getting a note like this is nice because it makes you feel that your interaction with this person was also beneficial to them and they thought it deserved to be acknowledged. I think I sometimes underestimate the power of a note... It is a small but highly effective gesture. 
Now of course I was still sad to see her go... But the note actually helped me with the process. 
And soon there will be more new friends on this journey and
 the whole cycle will restart. Maybe i'll be the one leaving a note next time...

And On that note (no pun intended) I encourage you to leave someone a hand written note.... 

Posted by sammy18 09:01 Comments (0)

We all need a little bit more bubbles in our lives...

Today I was on my way to catch a ferry from Lamma island an outerlying island here in Hong Kong. Walking towards the ferry dock I was happy to see a lot of people walking in the opposite direction. I thought to myself sweet this must mean the ferry just arrived, it must be leaving shortly to head back to Hong Kong island! I also thought thank goodness I won't have to waste time waiting for the next one! But as I approached the ferry pier I noticed that although people were loading onto the ferry there was a big gate that had been closed behind them. No one else was allowed to board this ferry.

A little bummed out I sat down on the edge of the pier to wait for the next one. However within a few minutes a great sense of calm and pleasure came over me. I started to notice my surroundings and I started to think about how lucky I was to have missed the ferry .Otherwise I would have missed so many wonderful things. I would have missed the refreshing breeze coming over the pier, I would have missed seeing the sun that was slowly setting and shining at a beautiful angle on the water, and I would have missed the wonderful view of mountains in the distance. To top it all off, suddenly a stream of bubbles started flying over my head and all around me. I looked back and a child had started blowing bubbles.The breeze was carrying them over my head and out towards the water. In this moment I couldn't help but smile and extend out my hand to try and catch one. It was a simple but brilliant moment. Had I caught that ferry I would have missed out on the bubbles too!

Maybe sometimes life isn't always about saving those extra minutes and always working our hardest to avoid "waiting". Maybe life is more about enjoying the unexpected moments that come along with it. How come it has become so difficult to sit back and really taking notice of our surroundings. I believe that we all could benefit from putting down the phone, iPod or any other distraction we may have from time to time and enjoying these moments.
I also believe we all could use just a little bit of bubbles....

Oh by the way... I know most of you are probably thinking but wait you are travelling no wonder you can appreciate this with so many beautiful and new things to see around you. Yes this is true... but I also think that this can apply to our everyday lives as well. If you miss that bus why not take a walk to the next station and explore a part of your city that you never see. If you miss the subway why not dip into a restaurant or cafe that you have never tried. Why not take the time to have a pleasant conversation with the cashier when you grab your coffee...
I think there is the potential for nice moments in some of the most "mundane" places..but it's really up to us to give it a chance.

If you really can't find some beauty in your everyday routine then maybe you are due for a change......


Posted by sammy18 04:17 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged life beauty bubbles Comments (0)

Tranquility in Asia's world city

Beautiful Lantau Island

Today I decided to take a break from the madness of Hong Kong and head out to an outerlying island called Lantau Island. It is really convenient that this island is connected to the main MTR subway system. You take the orange line all the way to the very end and voila you are on Lantau island. From here there are two main options-taking a cable car up to the big buddah or getting a day pass for the bus system on the island which also takes you up to big buddah and a few other great places on the island.

I decided to opt for the bus option as this is the most economical way to visit the area (only 35 HKD for the whole day!) Plus the bus ride through the mountainous island is very beautiful. I'm sure the cable car would have been breathtaking but considering today was quite hazy I figured the bus would be my best bet.

Once you get to Ngong Ping you climb about 240 steps to reach the top of the big buddah. In Ngong Ping you can also visit the Po Lin Monastery. There is also hiking trails and paths you can take around the area and a little touristy village with souvenir shops and attractions. In general I found it to be a very peaceful spot. Since I was there in the morning on a Thursday it was not too busy either which always makes for a more peaceful atmosphere.

From there I took another bus to a small village called Tai O which is a fishing town and a majority of the houses are constructed on stilts in the water. It is quite impressive to see and definitely worth stopping in if ever you are on Lantau island. Apparently this village used to be a lot more active and populated but with a decrease in the amount of people fishing etc. the town has sort of become a bit dilapidated. I still thought it was neat.

My reflection from today is that there are many big cities that have a sort of "escape" spot to check out. I think that Hong Kong is a bit of an exception as it has quite a few of these but I would highly recommend maybe taking the time to check out a new area of your city, maybe something on the outskirts. Take a train, take a bus, explore..and perhaps you will find serenity and peace like I did today.

Here are a few pictures from today's adventure:

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Posted by sammy18 07:56 Comments (0)

An artificial world - Hong Kong day 1

Today was my first day to explore the city. To be honest it was really hard to get up and moving this mornin! Jet lag can be quite grueling but also I think it was the fact that I was travelling for many hours and probably didn't get quality sleep on the plane that took so much out of me. Looking back on the flight I can sort of remember waking
Up suddenly and almost knocking over the cup of water on my tray which with my luck would have spilled all over be chatty woman beside me... I think it's kind of funny how when we are on night flights it is quite common and not even weird to sleep so closely to strangers.. In the outside non-plane world you would never even think of sitting as close to them on a bench let alone sleep with them! When you really think about it Night flights are like one big sleepover with a large group of strangers... Fun times :)

So when I finally did get out and about today an underlying theme emerged from the activities that I did. This theme was of an artificial world. Today I spent time in the central part of hong kong (the longest outdoor escalator), hong kong park and tst to see the hong kong skyline and light show.

Hong Kong park is a completely man made park, inside this park you will find fountains, plants, and artificial lakes... I went to the park knowing this about it before even arriving but I wanted to check it out and see it for myself.
So some questions came to mind during my Visit..
Artificial vs. natural?? Can the artificial park still be beautiful? What was here before this was created? Etc
As a nature lover I would definitely choose natural over artificial any day but being in this park really got me thinking about beauty.
What makes something beautiful? How can one person think something is beautiful and another not...what qualifies something or someone as beautiful...
I guess the old saying is really true beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

Despite my reservations, in a purely artificial park I was able to find beauty in the situation that was unfolding. because for me seeing this space was a reminder of how wonderful nature is... Man can try but will never succeed in recreating nature... You can not beat the real deal...I really enjoyed my day in this hectic world city... It is clear that the people creating this city definitely have an imagination :)

Tomorrow I think I will do some hiking ... Switch things up a little :)

Posted by sammy18 09:40 Comments (0)

Arrived to Hong Kong!

I have arrived to Hong Kong! I left my hostel in Munich at about 9am on Monday morning and got to Hong Kong City center at about 4pm tuesday afternoon. Despite being on the move for over 24 hours, waiting around in airports, and having a chatty kathy beside me on my 8 hour flight from Doha to Hong Kong.... I have arrived and feeling good!

I have a good buddy from University to stay with here in HK...so I am so lucky to use his laptop to write this post. I hope to bang out a few more posts in the next few days...so many things to talk about!

I am wondering how and when jetlang will set in.... so far I feel pretty good..but that might be my adrenaline from being in a brand new country on a brand new continent!

If anyone has tips or suggestions for what to do while in Hong Kong let me know!

Posted by sammy18 09:32 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

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