As I write this, I look over Hollywood Road and watch the antique stores close down for the day. A stream of red-topped taxis buzz by. There's still a waft of incense in the air from the nearby Man Mo temple. In a sweep of the eye, I can see hundreds of tightly packed residences stacked above each other. That's right, I'm in Hong Kong!
Time has really flown by since my wife and I finished in the Philippines and came back to chilly Australia at the end of June. We spent a whirlwind seven weeks catching up with friends and work, and now we've already started the next chapter of our overseas adventures: two months in Hong Kong.
Why Hong Kong? We've visited a couple of times and have really enjoyed it here, and after eight months in the provincial Philippines, it would be fun to experience the opposite end of the urban spectrum. Working remotely for Icelab has been no trouble, so we can go where our fancies take us.
We're staying in Sheung Wan, a fantastic neighbourhood. It's an older area and still largely residential, so it's quiet and charming, but just 10 minutes by foot to the bustle of Central. There are antique shops, galleries, boutiques and a bunch of decent cafés. Monocle has a great video introduction to the neighbourhood.
Smarter the second time
Compared to the initial effort of preparing for the Philippines, moving here has been a breeze. All our affairs were already in order, so getting out again was merely a shuffling of what was in the suitcases. If you've made the effort to relocate for a significant period of time, you almost owe it to yourself to back it up with another trip.
We've learnt from our first experience and have done a few things differently this time. Firstly, we're staying in an apartment we found via Airbnb. The place is very comfortable and already well set up. Within a day of arriving, I was able to put in a productive day at work. For a shorter stay, it's great not to worry about finding and establishing a new place to live.
We also packed far lighter. Here's my packing list for 2 months:
- 6 t-shirts
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of shoes (My trusty New Balance 574's)
- 1 pair of thongs
- Assorted underwear and socks (much less than the Philippines)
- MacBook Pro
- iPad (mostly for reading)
- Jawbone Jambox
- 4 external HDDs (2 x backup, 2 x media)
All up, 13kg in one still quite empty suitcase.
We've a little over 6 weeks left here in Hong Kong. I'm hoping to make it out to a couple of tech meet-ups, but would love to meet anyone for lunch of coffee. Say hello!