Adjusting to travels
Neal O’Grady – @NealOGrady

Adjusting to travels

If this is what travelling is going to be like, I made the right fucking decision. But goddamn it hasn't and won't always be easy.

Tough Times

Leaving Vancouver was hard. My goodbye party was an emotionally complex night. It's weird to have a party, a thing of celebration, that's ultimately tinged with sadness. Every time someone took their leave, my spirits were crushed with the realization that it could be a very long time before I'd ever see them again. I'd say my goodbyes, encourage them to visit me elsewhere in the world, hug them, and watch them go. Each time, I needed a moment to recuperate and re-adjust back into party mode. It was gut wrenching. There were times where I just wanted to go lay down, but there were more people to see, more fun to be had, and more goodbyes to be made.

It didn't stop there -- getting on the plane was hard, as was the flight and the first two days in Hong Kong. I felt kind of dead to the world. I was doing what was required of me to make travelling happen, but I wasn't really into any of it. Conversation was strained, the world disorienting, and I wondered what the hell I was doing. I asked myself why I didn't go straight to Germany, or just stay home. Why did I need to do this? Why was I making myself so uncomfortable by going to faraway lands, and for so long. Little did I know this was all going to change, and fast.

Shenanigans

Since the evening of my second day, when it all started to happen, I've done a lot of cool stuff, and met people I'd love to continue knowing for a very long time. I slept in the rain on a small mesh hammock on the uncovered rooftop of a 14 story apartment buildings. I tried hot-pot, various kinds of weird eggs, the best sushi of my life (for free), went to the classic Hong Kong street food market, and tried other random and intriguing food stuffs. I played tourist at the giant Buddha statue and local Buddhist monastery. I went on a full-day, open bar, fully catered "junk boat" party and had a blast getting thrown about by the waves. I played video games at a really cool British chap’s flat two nights in a row and saw the largest house cat I have ever seen. I visited the world's highest and possibly coolest bar. I witnessed the thrill and anguish of people struggling for their home's right to democracy. I endured the scariest cab ride. I stayed in a baller Airbnb place for 3 nights, for free due to the kindness of a friend. I spent quality time with a good friend and explored her homeland alongside her. Lastly, and most importantly, I connected with some beautiful people and discovered that you can plant some serious social roots in a city in only 6 days.

It's been a fucking whirlwind, and I barely wanted to leave Hong Kong, which is crazy considering I desperately booked my flight to Taiwan on the morning of my second day... I was not having a fun time. I don't regret leaving when I did, I need to repeat the process in each place I visit, falling in love with each one and its people along the way. Although Hong Kong has already built itself a special place in my heart, I know this is only the beginning. Not the beginning of this particular trip through Asia, or the years of travelling I have planned, but the beginning of a new mentality on approaching life. There's always something worth doing and people worth the price of your time, you just gotta be open to the world. Be who you are, and use your personality to allow others to truly be who they are. That's what I want. That's my jam.

Post-Yet-Continued-Honeymoon

So here I sit in a small hostel in Taiwan on my first night in this small country. I left HK thinking I'd be suffering for a while, trying to re-find what I had found there, but in testament to how confident I am in Taiwan so far, I extended the trip from one week to two. The people are insanely kind, the atmosphere is lovely, and there's apparently so much to see.

I know Taiwan and those going forward are not going to be the same as HK, and honestly it doesn't have to be. It'll be what it is -- which will likely be amazing in so many different ways that I couldn't have even imagined. For now, I need to get back to learning Mandarin after neglecting it for so long... I can only read like a troubled 5 year old.

Thanks for reading... expect a rundown of HK from me soon.

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