Some 40 years ago (yes it has been that long…) a young Swiss Miss came to Hong Kong for a Chinese New Year holiday from steady and stable Geneva, Switzerland.
I had just gone through a divorce which made me question everything, including my ability to make friends, earn a living, have fun, manage my life. One thing I did have though, was a sense of adventure and a gift for languages. Thus, given a chance for a change of environment, I grabbed it with both hands, not listening to any fears or doubts.
Hong Kong in the late ‘70’s and 80’s was a small city, girls still wore the traditional Chinese Qipao to work, a phone call to Europe had to be booked hours in advance and was expensive…no “Whatsapp” or Skype or social media! One could easily have felt cut off if one did not get on with it, fearlessly. It was an exciting time of growth, people from all over the world started to congregate here, there was a buzz, a “can do” atmosphere, and sometimes, the “neighbor from the North” (at the time called Red China) rattled a few swords just to remind that Hong Kong was on borrowed time.
Hong Kong over time became a big city, an international banking hub with all that entails, all the glitz and glamour, all the victories and downfalls…For me I learnt, grew, experienced…today I also understand what part of me was attracted to come here, which part of me was given free rein to play and I am thankful for all the people I met, came across, befriended, many of whom have left, some still here woven into the fabric of Hong Kong; thankful for all the experiences, both great and challenging that all helped shape who I am today
And then one day, I just knew that it was time for me to go on another exploration, this came as a huge surprise as I felt enmeshed here…I had no intentions of ever leaving Hong Kong that I was aware of, and I went on a holiday to Portugal and fell in love with the place. The air is clean, people are nice and it offers a whole array of new experiences, a new culture… several of my friends have or are moving there, and this is another opportunity to test my mettle and to have fun discovering new ways of life, new relationships, new ways of being. I also realized that I wished to be closer to family and “family” who live in Europe…
I often hear people say it takes courage to follow through with such a move after such a long time…I say “nothing adventured, nothing gained”.
Well, now, other shores await and I feel the same excitement that brought me to Hong Kong so many years ago… Let’s see what surprises await in Europe, in Portugal, what new adventures, what new insights to share.
I will continue to offer my consults on line, just from a different time zone, and visit Hong Kong from time to time.
Here is to Hong Kong…..and here is to Portugal!