I've been contemplating this post for some time now. I knew when I started this blog that it was a short-term thing, much like our time in Hong Kong. I'll take down this blog when I set foot on American soil. It has served it's purpose and is time to retire.
It's been 11 months since I arrived in Hong Kong on a dependent work visa. 11 months since I became a resident, and 11 months since I begrudgingly became a housewife. I've broken a bone, experienced the best healthcare I've had anywhere, learned a thing or two about fundraising, made a few great friends, ate some amazing food, seen some of the most beautiful views in the world, and had the most fun adventures. I'd like to think that I've made the most of my time here in Hong Kong. On the one hand I can't believe everything I've done and seen in 2013. On the other, I feel like there is so much more to see, do, and appreciate in SouthEast Asia, that I am disappointed I've run out of time. But mostly, I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity, sadness to leave, and excitement to start a new chapter in Chicago.
This journey to the escalator had some really big ups and some really big downs. Moving abroad is not easy. And if anyone tells you it is...well, I don't know what to say. It's exciting. It's adventurous. It's romantic. But it's also challenging. It's lonely. It's frustrating. But then you get over that stuff and fall in love with where you are and you wonder, "How will I go back?" Anyone who tells you that moving "back home" is easy...I'm not sure they have done it. Well, I haven't done it yet, but I can already see the differences and how I have to adapt to life in Chicago. Certainly I know how things work so figuring out which bus to take won't be hard, but just establishing a new routine will be. It's a whole new adventure.
So many of these expat assignments end up in failed marriages. I'm happy to report that is not the case here. I think the best part of moving to Hong Kong is how close it has brought Hubs and me. Total cliche here, but we have been besties for a long time. But move with your bestie to the other side of the world where you know no one? It can make or break your relationship. It totally made us.
As much as I hate my housewife visa status, I would do it again in a heart beat for the right place and the right opportunity. I'm tearing up as I type this. The thought of getting on the plane in two hours and not knowing when I'll return to Hong Kong makes my chest feel a bit heavy. But knowing what waits for me when I land makes me very happy. This place and its people captured my heart when I visited four years ago. I think a little piece of me will always call Hong Kong home. 'Till next time, HK.