37 Days Left of Hong Kong

37 days… 37 days until we leave Hong Kong.

I can’t believe the day is actually coming. I’ve been here nearly 4 years. For 4 years, this country has been my home. But I guess this moment had to come.

When I was in university, my friends had always expected I’d end up as the one with the power suit and the high powered career, and I tended to agree with them. What I wanted more than anything was the kind of financial stability that could afford me a good life with the kind of mini adventures that could take me away from the ordinary.  That was what I expected for myself when I moved to Hong Kong, lots of money, and lots of travel.

However, my little adventures have given me a thirst for the bigger and bolder. The things I have done the past 4 years have led me to trade in the power suit for a pair of running tights and a sailor’s cap.

When I got to Hong Kong I was told that expats here go one of two ways: the path of the work/alcoholic, or the path or the extreme athlete. Though I toyed with the first path, it didn’t take long for me to start moving down the second. I took up rugby, horseback riding, surfing, and to a lessor extent, hiking.

Eventually, noting my swimming ability (I had swum in high school and uni), a girlfriend of mine introduced me to the incredibly expensive sport of triathlons, where I would come to spend thousands of dollars on gear and race fees. All the gear and no clue. I couldn’t run more than a kilometer when I signed up for my first race. Somehow, during my first triathlon I managed to coax my body into slowly jogging the first 9 of 10 kilometers before giving out.

Then came the moment when I truly went down that second path: I discovered the 4 Deserts. The 4 Deserts are a series of 250 kilometer foot races through the Gobi, Atacama, Sahara, and Antarctic deserts. Don’t ask me why I decided to sign up for these, I’m not entirely sure to be honest, but the standard answer I give is that it’s for the joy of one day being able to see penguins waddling around their natural habitat.

So in 2013 I competed in the Gobi Desert race (I can’t go to Antarctica until I complete at least 2 of the other 3 deserts) and finished. I’ll discuss this race in later posts, but, as it turns out, I’m still not much of a runner.

Doing the Gobi warped my mind, to put it lightly. I was never one that enjoyed being inside, but after that race, being trapped in an office became mentally difficult and exhausting. Odd as it may seem, when I was out in the desert, crying, hungry, and blinded by pain, I began to see the best in the world, and the best in people. During that race my faith in humanity was restored, and I was caught in a perpetual moment of awe. It was after that race that I decided that I needed to take some time and leave the real world behind. I wanted to see what it and I am really made of.

A year after the Gobi, now that I have Rich, my oh-so-charming partner in crime, and a list of races and treks we want to complete and things we’d like to see, it is time to leave this urban jungle behind and make the step towards a life of adventure.

37 days until a new take on life.

I still want to see those penguins

 

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