My Travel Unraveled eat well, travel often, and always enjoy the journey

Big Decisions

32 - Big Decisions

“So how is Hong Kong?”

Ever since leaving home for the Orient, that’s been a common question for me.  And with any big decision, it seems like treason to answer with anything short of “ONLY THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE I’VE EVER HAD #BOLDMOVE.”

Big decisions look wider under the magnifying glass which leads us to over-scrutinize them without ever letting ourselves properly adjust.  We want nothing more than constant, resounding reassurance that we made the right choice.  We become impatient, seeking a hurried verdict based on a limited sample size.  We fear that proclaiming the decision as anything less than the best one ever made deems the whole experience a failure.

Thus, every time someone inquires about my time abroad, I’m faced with the dilemma of telling the truth versus lying.  No matter how many times I’m asked, I always find myself at a temporary loss for words. Then, I usually chase a short pause with an incredibly generic “It’s ok” (cue mild inflection on the ‘O’).  More recently though, I’ve been trying to enrich my responses a bit with some rendition of “Oh, I’m still adjusting” (which works better if you deliberately nod at the same time).

Truth be told, to say this experience has been either an exhilarating joyride or a miserable clusterfuck would both be blatant lies.  Rather, it’s been just as I expected.  I expected the dry, uptight work culture.  I expected to feel lonely.  I expected the pushy crowds and lack of personal space.  I expected to miss out on events and get-togethers back home.  I expected to suffer from the unbearable heat and torrid humidity.  And I expected to struggle meeting people.

But if leaving home the first time was any indication, I also expect to conquer every single one of those challenges and ultimately take something positive away from this experience. The best part about making big decisions is that they get easier every time, even if the returns aren’t immediate.  The challenge then becomes battling one’s own impatience.

So now, when people ask me about my time in Hong Kong, my answer follows a more accurate script:

“It’s just as I expected.”


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