Dear High Schooler,
Remember that summer you spent at home, occasionally going out with friends and worked a minimum wage, part-time retail job that you took too seriously? Remember that chance you had to spend by the beach in San Diego or somewhere much hotter…but didn’t because you had “work”? Well there’s 40+ years of work ahead and most of the time, your part-time job won’t be a life changer.
But remember that 2 month break you had that you didn’t maximize? The one where you just sat on the couch, played video games and watched time tick by? Those are the moments you’ll regret.
Last night I took a stroll with your boyfriend – yes you guys are still together despite the arguments (last week, you almost fought over a mushroom that fell behind the compost). I began to reflect on all those endless summer nights that you spent at home. Those nights where you stayed up till 3 am, can enjoy an entire McDonalds meal and not gain a single pound. Those nights that you didn’t spend traveling, learning, experiencing.
Drop all that. Those days will change. You’ll get a little older, a little more tired and have many more responsibilities. What you’ll have much less of is time.
It’s time you go on an adventure and let it all go. Be a kid, be a child even if you don’t feel like one. Enjoy yourself – I can guarantee you that you won’t regret it. What you’ll regret is when you have a full-time job, a mortgage, only 3 weeks of vacation and a family you’ll be saving for…and now you don’t have the time to get away and escape to the adventures of your past. During that simple stroll last night, I thought to myself, ‘if only this was 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have to worry about going to work the next day’.
Let me do the working. While I’m still young, I’m a little more ambitious. Let me do the thinking. I have a better idea of where I’m going and I’ll take you with me. You don’t have to worry about any of that.
So why don’t you just go on those adventures for me so we can enjoy it together in the future?
All my love,
Hong Kong has always been my second home. Well, it was really my first home. Born in Hong Kong, my family immigrated to Toronto when I was 4 years old but the sights, sounds and love for Hong Kong remained with me. After my first year in university and savings from my first part time job, the first place I visited was Hong Kong. And shortly after my career began, Hong Kong was the first city I vacationed. Once again, I recently returned from a 2 week trip in Macau, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the city skyline never fails to take my breath away.
I’ve been a pretty dedicated @CathayPacific flyer and have had positive experiences – it’s important for a 16 hour flight! Their meals are good for what it is and I’ve scored pretty good deals on most of my flights. This year they had a sale on Valentines day YYZ > HKG for only $1200 which is a similar deal from my flight 2 years ago. From HKG > TPE the ticket was around $230. The seats were comfortable for my size and had a great selection of shows and movies to occupy my time for 16 hours.
It was unfortunate that it rained every single day that I was in Hong Kong but we still managed to do what we wanted. The weather in May is usually quite rainy (averages 13 rainy days) and around 25C (77F). Humidity is also really high so you’ve been warned!
As a tourist/past local, and with some help from @HongKongTourism , here are the top places I would recommend:
- The Peak – This location provides the ultimate view of Hong Kong from the skies. The view transforms from the morning sun to the illuminated night.
- Tsim Sa Tsui/Avenue of Stars- This is the land level perspective from Kowloon across to Hong Kong island. Each night, you can also see a laser light show.
- Hong Kong Museum of History – The entire history of Hong Kong’s evolution is on display with model adaptations of the past. What a fantastic journey to walk through!
- Shek O/Stanley – The beach side village is a short bus ride away. With the Victorian Era Murray House moved piece by piece to its current location, its like a step back into history. Sit down and enjoy a coffee, do some people watching and listen to the crash of the waves.
- Causeway Bay – Check out the hustle and bustle of this busy city with this jam packed area of shopping fanatics. Concentrated with Sogo and Times Square, it’s a shopaholics’ dream! But hidden in between the busy malls is a street with cheap finds and great deals.
While others refer to Paris as the City of Lights and New York as the City that Never Sleeps, Hong Kong, to me is all encompassing. Hong Kong is a place that has me going back for more.My choice for Top Attractions in #HongKong HongKongTourism @DiscoverHKG @HongKongsBest @HongKongPlaces #travel #ttot Hong Kong has always been my second home. Well, it was really my first home. Born in Hong Kong, my family immigrated to Toronto when I was 4 years old but the sights, sounds and love for Hong Kong remained with me.
I recently went on a 3 day, 2 night adventure to Taipei, Taiwan and it was truly amazing!
As our flight arrived to Taipei late in the day, we took the opportunity to rest at our hotel (we stayed at FX Hotel) had a small dinner and headed to the Shilin Night Market and boy did I regret having that dinner!
The array of food found at the night market was endless and I should’ve saved room to try everything. Not only was there variety, the prices were quite affordable. We of course started with a bubble tea which originated from Taiwan, followed by fried garlic chicken balls and tofu, with a jello like dessert and deep fried ice-cream, and what’s the night market without stinky tofu?! But thats not all, we continued with the “tornado” potato, coated with a thick batter and sprinkled with our choice of topping (we chose seaweed and curry). We then shared a thick, gigantic piece of breaded chicken steak and lastly had a mango snow/ice dessert covered in mango puree and condensed milk.
The next day, we hired a taxi to take us around. We first arrived to Shifen Old Street which used to be a rail line to transport coal, now converted to a tourist destination. Tourists flock to Shifen to release sky lanterns (once used as a signal to families of safety for those working in the coal mines), has now become a symbol of hope and prayers. Tourists can decorate the sky lanterns and write their wishes on it and release into the sky. There’s also a beautiful suspension bridge further along the path with amazing views of the surrounding area. Next must see destination is Jiufen Old Street which is much bigger in size and located in the mountains, it offers views beyond the horizon. Jiufen offered many tea shops and restaurants with a more western flare each with a unique view. Our driver then suggested a nice, quiet location to watch the sunset and it was well worth it. We watched at the sun sank into the sea and into the night we drove into the next night market. On a slightly smaller scale, we started with a Taiwanese minced beef rice dish, then a baggie of “oil rice” downed with sugar coated diced potato, a plate of deep fried baby crab and oyster cake. We ended our night at Taipei 101 which in my opinion was mediocre.
On our last time, the rain began to pour and so we made our way to the original Din Tai Fung to eat Shanghai dumplings and different sorts of noodle dishes. We just strolled around aimlessly in the area until we had to take the bus back to the airport on an hour long ride.
All in all, 5 extra pounds later, there’s no regrets! Taiwan was an amazing experience and the views and the variety of food options cannot be beat!The Foodie Tour: 3 days, 2 nights in Taipei, Taiwan #travel I recently went on a 3 day, 2 night adventure to Taipei, Taiwan and it was truly amazing!
You’ll find in many of my post I refer to “Carl”. Carl and I have been together for almost 12 years but we never really started traveling together until 5 years ago and even then, they were trips to visit his parents in San Diego so not much planning was required on our part.
People say that traveling with your partner can ultimately make-or-break the relationship or even…
Not all of us have the luxury and time to escape the cold whenever and wherever. This has been an especially harsh winter, a record setting one, the coldest in the past 20 years for Toronto with more windchill warnings and extreme cold weather alerts than I can remember. I don’t normally despise the cold, I love all 4 seasons but this particular winter has been much harder.
I started this blog…