Honkers: One Month In
Friends and family might remember, either from Facebook or Insta, that I left New York in September to relocate to Hong Kong in October. Despite arriving in October, I’ve only lived in Hong Kong officially since January.
The First 90 Days
The first three months in Hong Kong were, for lack of a better word, the WORST. Due to work mixups and visa problems, I spent my first 90 days living out of a suitcase and feeling like I left a world where I was comfortable and at home for one that just seemed expensive, lonely, and unfamiliar. I found it difficult to meet people, my money was tight due to work/visa/tax issues and, despite having spent three months here before, I just couldn’t find my footing. It SUCKED.
That sounds whiny, I know, but when you’re across the world from all those you would call during bouts of panic, stress, and fear, every negative feeling is magnified. So my weekdays were spent struggling to get acclimated at work and my weekends were spent struggling to get out of bed because I didn’t see a reason to.
In December, I went home for Christmas and seriously debated whether I was coming back or not. I was still living out of a suitcase, though my visa cleared the day I left HK for holiday, finally surrounded by friends, my family. I was HOME. There were people I could drink and dance and vent with. It was good.
I left but not because I wanted to…instead I left because I’m a coward.
I didn’t have the nerve to call my current boss and tell him I was unhappy and wasn’t coming back. So I decided that if I was going to be a coward, I was going to be the happiest coward there was! I landed back in Hong Kong on January 1st. I pounded the pavement, found an apartment, opened a bank account and changed my number on January 3rd. Next, I ordered furniture and started touring neighborhoods in hopes of finding my spot. Sola came to visit on January 9th; his being here helped me feel more comfortable — I had a piece of home here and that went a long way.
In the last month, I’ve had to completely step outside my comfort zone. I had to learn to ask for help (not good at this); learn how to say no at work (something I struggle with daily). I had to learn how to motivate myself when the going gets rough while, at the same time, understanding that I’m allowed to feel and just be. And with that, everything shifted–
I’ve just met a great group of women with whom I can socialize! I now have a place to get my hair done (I’m sorry, but it’s important!). I’m rediscovering an interest in photography. I even bought a pair of running shoes, laced up and started running at the track near my home. While these things don’t make missing home go away (we’ll talk about stupid FOMO in another post), they do ease the loneliness and boredom considerably.
So one official month in, and I am slowly finding my footing. Apparently, it takes a lot longer than that to feel at home. Baby steps, I guess?