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Rounding Off 16 Months of Travel

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Friday, 21 May, 2010

Content I was hoping to do a little post whilst Linh and I were still in Hong Kong and after we visited China during the tail end of April, but just didn't get a chance. We wanted to spend what little time we had left going out and about in Hong Kong after all.

Hipstamatic Thames

As it happens we've already returned to the UK, and moving smoothly back to *normality*. I went for my first work meeting today and there was no better time and place to begin - right next to the Thames with blue skies and a warm climate. Welcome to Summer in London I guess. Some other various thoughts below.

China

After visiting eight other countries, China was our last destination outside of Hong Kong. Linh and I visited both Beijing and Shanghai and I'll relate our experiences and post tons of photos as usual on my travel blog MangoVine.net - all in good time.

In general though, we did go with a slight preconception of what to expect and rightfully experienced huge crowds of people (mainly Chinese tourists from outside the cities), sometimes a disregard for a queuing system and liberal amounts of hawking (both the selling and the spitting kinds).

Although we did like the experience of China, especially the unique sights in and around Beijing, such as The Great Wall, there was much to be desired overall. We weren't so interested in Shanghai, though to be fair, alot of the attractions on offer (towers, history museums etc) were prevalent in many of the other cities we saw first.

Leaving Hong Kong

Having spent sixteen months living in Hong Kong, it wasn't surprising to find a little sadness creeping into my thoughts at the prospect of leaving. After all, its a second home to me, and where my family is from. However, knowing that Linh and I were eventually going to leave meant that although we created a *home* there, it wasn't a place we were one hundred per cent settled into.

There's no doubting that we'll be back though and creating a *local* life there simply makes it easier to return. Ideally to spend the future between both the UK and Hong Kong. In a sense, that made the transition less of a matter of closure and more of a temporary change of scene.

Settling into London

The plan was always to return to London during Spring, which theoretically makes the transition from a tropical country such as Hong Kong alot more pleasurable. Having been back less than a week, there have been blue skies almost every day! There's also tons of warmth, but none of the humidity that Hong Kong has.

As I retread the grounds I know of and carry out administrative duties to slink back into UK life, I notice subtle changes, but nothing drastic. Sure Woolies has gone from the high street, but many shops still remain. Though life undeniably went on, it does feel very familiar. My mindset seems to have jumped back to the point at which I left the UK sixteen months ago such that my time in East Asia seems like a dream.

There was also an initial excitement at coming *home*. But as the days pass and the reality of an indefinitely future in London sinks in, I find myself missing aspects of Hong Kong that made it such an amazing place to spend some time in. The food, fast-paced retail culture and the contrast between city life in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island and our peaceful home between mountains and a bay in the New Territories.

Future Work

Moving out to Asia for sixteen months meant that a lot of things were put on hold. The obvious things were personal projects and even some client projects which were able to wait until my return. So it goes without saying that this build-up will pack my schedule tightly in the next few months, whereupon I'll need to balance new client work alongside previously planned projects. Alot of my sites need a refresh for instance and the travel blog MangoVine.net will need a major face-lift, as the current design was always just a simple placeholder.

Add to these the daily challenges of life and that marks just the start of my hectic near future.


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Comments

 

Welcome back. It sounds like you've had an amazing year and half away and have reconnected with your roots.

I'm hoping to do a similar trip away in East Asia in the next couple of years!
Picture of Zac

Posted by Zac in W Yorkshire

on 11/06/10 at 04:51 PM
Hey Zac thanks! Yeah, its been quite a trip! Definitely recommended if you can get away.

So did you move out of London?
Picture of Mark Wu

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

on 11/06/10 at 06:05 PM
Yes, I moved to the family home up North late last year to save on rent and focus on my online marketing business.

Still cracking away at it.

We should collaborate at some point. There aren't many of us BBC/Chinese web techies!
Picture of Zac

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

on 18/06/10 at 08:16 AM

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