The fourth and final Seegs Quarterly of 2016 is a little late this time, but here’s what I was up to recently:

Hong Kong

I found my footing in Hong Kong during these months. I successfully got a semester of graduate school under my belt, with two more to go!

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One of the best parts of pursuing this path in Hong Kong was meeting so many like-minded people. I’ve had more interesting conversations in the few short months I’ve been in Hong Kong than I’ve probably had in the past 5 years.

Hong Kong has one of the best expat communities in the world, and there are friends to be made anywhere and everywhere, constantly. It’s wonderful.

I lived both on the Kowloon side and the Hong Kong Island side, and I have to say I much prefer the Hong Kong Island side. A lot of the cruise ships dock in Kowloon and therefore it gets extremely touristy and crowded which makes it a hard place to live. I’m back on the Island side for 2017.

Typhoon Season

Meranti, Sarika, Haima.

October was rough weather-wise. It felt like it rained for weeks, and then once November rolled around, the weather was gorgeous with a slight breeze and plenty of sunshine. Autumn in Hong Kong is truly spectacular, and worth waiting out typhoon season for!

The U.S. Presidential Election

Oh, what dark days this Presidential election brought. Luckily, all my friends in Hong Kong already knew where I stood in terms of the outcome, and after giving me their condolences, everyone left me alone for a few days to grieve.

That being said, I’m still not ready to talk about it here.

Alternative Thanksgiving

There was no love lost as Thanksgiving isn’t exactly my favorite holiday to begin with, but I had a nice time this year joining the Humid With a Chance of Fishballs Sampan Dining Experience in Causeway Bay for a balls-to- -the-walls, all-out, extensive AF seafood dinner. You can read more about it here.

It was one of the Thanksgivings I’ll probably remember most, and the real beauty is that it was spent with strangers.

Cambodia

Like most travelers, Angkor Wat in Cambodia had been on my bucket list for ages, and I had definitely hoped to finally check it off while I was living in Hong Kong. My hopes materialized! I had one weekend free right before my final exams (which you couldn’t study for), and a friend from home that was living in Kuala Lumpur told me she’d planned on going with some of her coworkers. I booked my ticket (within a time span of two minutes) and was on my way!

Surprisingly, I liked Cambodia a lot more than Vietnam. Although, I know many people who feel the exact opposite way, so it’s either personal preference or might depend on your specific experience. Personally, I found the people in Cambodia to be a lot more friendly.

I wrote more about my long weekend in Cambodia here.

My Birthday

As I get older, my birthday has become less and less of a ‘deal’, and it’s wonderful. I don’t know about y’all, but if I didn’t used to have extensive plans for my birthday, I’d feel really bad about myself. But that has started to change, and this year I honestly just didn’t really care. Luckily in Hong Kong I have two friends who share the same birthday, so we all combined celebrations, which was nice and took a lot of the pressure off!

We had a fun little brunch at Aberdeen Street Social (a place I’d highly recommend in Hong Kong) then some rooftop drinks at trendy Beef & Liberty, then it was back to paper-writing for me.

One year older…oof!

San Francisco

I’d been going on about visiting San Francisco for the entire year after having to cancel my weekend there last May due to my grandmother’s passing, and I was unsure if I’d be able to make it there again this year, but she must’ve been smiling down on me this time because I had a beautiful weekend there with close friends.

I got to go to the Facebook Holiday Party, which was pretty interesting. We also went to Marin County to see some Redwood trees and explored Sausalito by night.

Last but not least, it was over to Levi’s Stadium for the NY Jets vs. SF 49er’s for the battle of the worst team in the NFL.

San Francisco does a very respectable tailgate. The temperate weather was also a great way for me to slowly acclimate to the cold East Coast weather from Hong Kong. Not to mention the great way to break up my jet lag!

Home for the Holidays

Just like in the summer, I spend most of my time at home traveling back and forth between New York and New Jersey, which is not very relaxing. I overplanned for myself, too, without considering that my body truly needed some R&R. Again, just like in the summer, I spent a good chunk of my time at home sick as a result.

It was also a bit stressful to try to see everyone I’d hoped to while I was home. I’m lucky enough to have a lot of people that are dear to my heart, and I just wasn’t back in the States long enough to physically be able to see everyone and spend a meaningful amount of time with them. They remain in my heart, though, and I’m committed to keeping our relationships close, no matter where I am in the world.

What’s next for Q1 and 2017?

Well I guess I’m cheating a bit since it’s already quite a bit of a ways into it already, but it’s back to the books for me, hopefully with some traveling squeezed in there. I mentioned my 2017 travel goals in my 2016 recap post.

Chinese New Year celebrations are also coming up at the end of January/early February, and that is bound to be a beautiful and salubrious time of year. I’m personally interested to see how the celebrations in Hong Kong stack up compared to Taiwan last year.

Happy New Year, everyone!

 

 

(Featured photo credit: Dressed by Jess)