While I was studying at A&M I spent a summer working as an intern for BBVA in Hong Kong.
The trip was my first time flying overseas solo. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to live (for free!) & work (oh also for free…) abroad.
I lived with my Uncle Eli and Auntie Marie who basically became my adopted parents in Hong Kong and worked in the iconic IFC (International Finance Center) aka the 8th tallest office building in the world.
Although I had visited Hong Kong once before, living there took a lot of adjustment. And I had never worked a full time job before either, let alone in another country.
I remember the anxiety of being shuffled around in all the city crowds without a single “excuse me” or “sorry” and being hit on by a guy who also wouldn’t even shake my hand upon meeting because he had “just washed his.”
Oh I was not in sweet home College Station anymore was I?
But eventually I got used to things. I realized these were just cultural differences that I had to understand so I could get to know people. Nobody was trying to be rude (well for the most part).
In fact, I got quite used to being able to hustle through the streets and walkways or being able to walk up an escalator in a hurry because people were neatly lined up on the right side of the escalator.
I definitely got used to being in a concrete jungle set beautifully in contrast with green mountain views and a blue sea.
I loved Hong Kong which is why I’m excited to share that I’m heading back to Hong Kong this month. I’ll be there in time to ring in Chinese New Year, visit Uncle Eli & Auntie Marie and to do more traveling.
I’m a more seasoned traveler this time around so I’m excited to see how different my trip to Hong Kong is this time around.
How do you handle adjusting to cultural differences when traveling? Have you visited Hong Kong or southeast Asia?
Travel Tuesday Linkup with A Compass Rose