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Goodbye Hong Kong, hello solo trip through Asia 

 So I’ve been in Hong Kong for 2 weeks now… It’s insane to say that because it doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly that long. I am guessing part of the feeling has to do with the fact that a good part of the first week was spent sleeping off my jet lag and sickness. However the main factor is the great time I always have with my family, and the amount of fun I’ve had while here. They say laughter is the best medicine, and it is most definitely is. These past 2 weeks I have laughed more than I have in a long time. I also got to spend a lot of quality time with the worlds cutest great nephew. 

Hong Kong is an amazing city.  The first week I felt like such a foreigner, and wandered the streets completely lost. But within just 2 weeks I seriously felt like I’ve lived here forever. There are such amazing things to eat (see below), amazing people to meet, and beautiful things to see.  The skyline at night is absolutely breathtaking. Unfortunately part of its glamour is the glow the buildings give off at night, A glow that is so visible as a result of the pollution in the air.  But hey, why not find the silver lining! 😉

   
  

   

  
I talked about Dr. Chen in my last blog, so I thought that it would be cool to share my journey through Asia with the stories of people that I will meet along the way. The conversation that I will share in this blog is about another doctor, this time it was Dr. Raymond.  

Unfortunately the ground up sea shells and unicorn dust tea did absolutely nothing, and I continued to get more ill. I finally made the decision to seek western medicine, and made an appointment with Dr. Raymond. Dr. Raymond was a soft spoken, extremely brilliant man, and has been practicing medicine for over 40 years. Our “deep” conversation began when asking about family history. I shared with him a list of family history, and when I mentioned my father passed from stomach cancer there was definitely a pause that I noticed when he was writing.  He looked up at me, and felt the urge to start sharing his experience with his mom this past year. 

Dr. Raymond’s mom was also diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and like myself he cared for her during end of life.  He explained how his mother was the work horse of the family (his father had a problem with his eyes), and how she was the strongest person he had ever known. We began to share our similar experiences with that process, and how it has changed how we think. He said something that definitely hit home with me “it’s impossible not to question what you have done with your life when you are starring death in the face”. 

After he said that statement I thought it would be the perfect time to ask him one of the questions from the list I had mentioned in my last blog “What is the greatest fear at the end of life?”  He said his greatest fear is that for his family to have to lie while writing his obituary. He shared with me that when writing his moms obituary that not once did he have to fabricate a single word, as she was full of love and compassion. His greatest fear is that his family would make up a fictitious story that would describe somebody that the readers would respect and appreciate, when in fact he did not live up to those words. 

Dr. Raymond said that the way he will ensure that this does not happen seemed pretty simple. 

  1. Be kind to all
  2. Always give back, and leave this world giving more than you have received

Dr. Raymond and I shared some final words, he gave me a ton of meds and I was on my way. 

I feel honored that so many people throughout my life have opened up to me and have shared stories that have left everlasting imprints on my life, and I hope it continues for years to come. 

 This bag is all I will be taking with me on my month and a half solo trip through Southeast Asia.  As much I am going to miss spending time with them (as well as all of the people back home), I am beyond myself with excitement for the trip to come. Part of me is definitely nervous, but the main emotion is excitement. 
I am excited to see new cultures, eat great food, meet new people, learn awesome history, and be able to quiet my brain. 

I am not nervous about the cliche things like getting sick, lost, kidnapped, being stabbed by a Thai ladyboy, or any other thing you can imagine while traveling. I’m nervous about some of the personal things I may face within myself while completely alone.  It’s been a pretty crazy few years for me, and I think it’s easy for people to fill their brains with “commercials”, and not actually ever face the “movie” that is our lives, no matter how scary or beautiful our movie may be.  Socrates was famous for saying “The unexamined life is not worth living”.

 I am across the world, I have a backpack, the clothes on my back, and I do not know a single person. If there is any time to truly examine my life, the time is now. 

Next stop, Hanoi! ✌🏼️✌🏼

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