It’s official! I’ve officially been living in Hong Kong for one year now.

And holy cow did it go by fast. While I could go on and on about how amazing and life changing this year has been, I won’t. At least not in this post. Instead what I wanted to talk about today, is why all the hate and criticism of people going abroad? 

When I first announced that I would be moving abroad after graduation, I don’t think most people were surprised. I was met with a lot of support– but also a fair share of criticism. A lot of people made comments that I was running away or avoiding responsibility. One person went as far as asking why I’m wasting my time out here instead of getting a real job and traveling later.

I expected it, I really did. But what I didn’t expect, was to still be getting that criticism a year later. 

I guess it seems people think I’m on some year-long vacation. And while I wish that were the case, it most certainly isn’t. How I’d love to be galavanting around Asia each day, sipping cocktails at the beach, but sadly that just isn’t my life here.


5:45 AM


Groggily, I squint my eyes until I can somewhat make out the numbers on the clock. I breathe a sigh of relief; I still have a little over an hour until my alarm goes off. I make a mental note to never ever have an East-facing bedroom again, just before passing back out.

Hong Kong

How can it be this bright this early in the morning? Might as well not have curtains.

7:30 AM

After sleeping past my first alarm at seven, I finally manage to drag myself out of bed. I rush around in order to be out the door as soon as possible. There’s no point to putting effort into doing your hair and makeup here, because by the time I’d reach the train station, my hair would be frizzy and any makeup would be sweat off anyhow.

Got to love that Hong Kong heat!

9:00 AM

After a series of crowded train rides on the MTR, I’m finally at work. Classes don’t begin until 9:30, so I use this time to prep if needed or to quickly check and reply to e-mails, Twitter, and the like.

Hong Kong

Getting on crowded trains is easier said than done sometimes.

9:30 AM

First class of the day and I’m still not fully awake nor am I mentally prepared for the energy levels of these children. No really, where do they get their energy from??

Is it from their baby Gucci shoes? If so, I need to get me a pair of those.

Class goes by relatively smoothly. I look at the clock and do some quick calculations—one more hour until lunch.

I got this.

Hong Kong

Full of energy first thing in the morning!

11:30 AM

Lunch Time, aka time to work my “2nd job”. I spend these two hours working on blog posts, editing photos, maintaining my site and again replying to e-mails, Twitter and Facebook, while usually munching on something not nutritious I picked up from 7-11.

I finish eating and I force myself away from the computer for a 15-minute break. I go down and walk along the waterfront. The water is calming.

Hong Kong

What my lunch hour usually looks like.

1:30 PM

There’s no way that was two hours…but somehow it’s already time for another class. 1:30 always seems to be the hour that goes the slowest, no matter which day of the week it is. Luckily, the following class goes by more quickly.

3:30 PM

How is it only 3:30? It feels like it should be at least 4:30.

And somehow whenever I get a headache it’s always during this hour– maybe it’s from the stress and sheer volume of my previous two classes. Now I know I said the morning kids had energy, but you should see them after they’re out of school for the day and have just finished lunch. Pure mayhem I tell you.

At least this period everyone has an hour break. I try not to think about my headache, or the fact that most teachers in a normal school would be heading home about now. Instead I continue to plug away at my blog.

Hong Kong

Afternoon madness.

7:30 PM


I rush out of work feeling tired and haggard. The commute home is spent catching up on reading others’ blogs until I finally reach my station. Stepping out of the MTR, the humidity hits me like a brick wall. Spending all day inside and commuting in an air-conditioned train, I almost forget how ungodly the weather is.

Even at 8pm at night, the air is still thick and unbearable.

I quickly maneuver my way through the crowded streets while attempting to ignore the stares from locals eating outside on makeshift tables. Constantly scanning the area, I stay alert for cockroaches and water dripping overhead.

Approaching the stinky tofu stand, I hold my breath as I rush past. I’ve still never figured out how anyone can eat such an awful thing, but somehow it’s popular.

Hong Kong

Dizzying sidewalks.

8:45 PM

Finally home, I let out an exhausted sigh and kick off my shoes. I close my eyes for a brief moment, counting the days until the weekend. The moment ends as Johnny announces that dinner is about to be ready.

9:00 PM


I’m starving. It’s nice to have some downtime and time with Johnny. I start to talk about how my day was, but end up being too busy shoveling food down my mouth to hold a conversation.

I finish my plate and unpack my bag. Before losing track of time on the computer, I decide it’s best to take a quick shower first.

10:00 PM

I realize it’s already ten, and decide to quickly try to get a few more things done online. Turning my computer back on, I attempt to work and update social networking sites, and maybe try to squeeze in an episode of some TV show.

10:30 PM

Must… get work done… before…I pass…out…


If anyone sees a time when I can squeeze in lying on the beach, sipping cocktails, do let me know because I really wish that were the reality of my year-long vacation here in Hong Kong.


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