there's always something to be learned from every trip. but the hong kong trip slapped a few lessons in my face. here are some of them:
1. never expect. no matter how well you've studied the place, chances are, things will never be as you expect it to be. unless you've been there every month, it's best to keep your expectations to a minimum. after all, surprises are fun, aren't they?
2. schedules are guidelines; they are not etched in stone. i learned this the hard way during this trip. i wanted to see a lot of places, but sometimes, you just have to give some activities up. while it's great to have a schedule so that you won't waste a day, don't be disappointed when things don't go your way.
3. take time to relax. ayeen and i almost killed ourselves the first two days, trying to see everything we were supposed to see. on the fourth day, we caved. if we had kept on following our schedule to the letter, i think we would have killed each other. we abandoned our plans on the fourth day, and decided to take things easy. taking time to just sit and watch the people go by is also a good way to see a city.
4. it's all in the mind. had quite a huge setback on this trip. of course, i felt broken for a while, but it's just not like me to dwell on the bad things. after a few hours of moping, i stood up, went to the closet, dressed myself up in my best garb, and told ayeen, "get up, we're going to watch the lights show! and we're eating good food and drinking!" after that, everything went splendidly well.
5. don't feel bad when you get lost. eventually, it's all going to be something you'll laugh about when you look back on the trip.
6. don't be afraid to go a little crazy. we did this lots during the trip. it made everything tons better.
7. don't scrimp on food. it's always been a motto of mine to go all out when it comes to food. it served me during this trip.
8. you still gotta love home. no matter how long i stay away from it, nothing beats going back home. though for this trip, i didn't exactly miss it, being back and seeing that everything is so familiar makes me appreciate it more.
(photo: me on the tram to happy valley)