Sunday, February 27, 2011

Arriving in Hong Kong/Tuen Mun is a welcome culture shock

If you've been following my travels at all, you know I'm spending the next few weeks in Asia. I'll be in Hong Kong, the New Territories portion of HK called Tuen Mun (at Lingnan University), and Singapore.
The blog post previous to this described the challenging flight out here but as soon as I got to my hubby all felt right ;) He's currently in Tuen Mun, HK from January to mid-May on a semester abroad. He's an International Business major with concentrations in Finance & Mandarin back home in Nashville at Belmont University. We wanted to take the opportunity for him to be able to study abroad and have some great adventures. We planned this trip for me to come out halfway through and spend some time  together! And oh has it been an adventure!
We took a taxi back to his campus at Lingnan University. That ride itself was the beginning of a welcome culture shock! Hong Kong has a beautiful way about it. As an American, it's not a typical "beauty"... it's hard to describe... You can tell it's a city based in history, culture & tradition. The majority of the buildings look old, dirty & rundown at first glance. It's something you don't see as prevalent in America but it's the norm here. But it's incredibly beautiful... in it's own amazing way. I'm hoping to have time next week to just walk around and take photos so you can see what I mean. It feels like things are either new construction where a historic building has been, or it's a building that's been there for hundreds of years.
I am staying on campus in the visitors hostel. I was a little worried because to be honest, my husband's hostel is incredibly sparse, tiny & loud. All of us with food allergies know that everywhere we travel, we try to find somewhere with a refridgerator and maybe a kitchenette. Thankfully, the visitors hostel was completely different from his dorm. It is definitely not a hotel but a hostel and for $30/day it's perfect! They have a flat screen TV, kitchenette (perfect for cooking with my allergies), study room, free wifi & free laundry facilities. The security is high-tech with two different keypads to use for entry to your room.
Once we got inside, I found that my adorable husband had this waiting for me:
The flowers were beautiful & he had written the sweetest card ever. He also had traveled an hour there and an hour back to an organic health food store in HK called "360". It's in Central HK and is truly the equivalent to Whole Foods. It's even more expensive though, which I

Flying internationally & keeping your sanity

This is my first international trip (other than cancun which I don't really consider international). So I was definitely anxious & didn't know what to expect. Everyone I talked to had different advice & different experiences. I also knew traveling with food allergies would be difficult and it definitely has been a challenge. It's made me thankful for the places I know & love in Nashville who don't flinch when I tell them about my gluten intolerance.
The journey started a few days before I left with endless lists of things to do & buy in order to make the trip comfortable. I thought at the time I was being excessive & stressing about things I'd laugh about later... But it turns out everything I did, I couldn't have lived without!
• International adapter
• Carry on baggage with a built-in laptop slot (it will single-handedly save your shoulders)
• Swiss army backpack
• The Passport & boarding pass wallet that you wear around your neck.
• My Merrell shoes- for running around the airport comfortably
• My giant ziploc bag of snacks- natural beef jerky, raw trail mix, natural fruit snacks, Pure & Organic Gf brownie bars & last but not least, Lara bars
• Nyquil - for sleeping on the plane
• Eyemask
• Inflatable travel pillow
• Earplugs
• Elastic Hair bands
• the iCall app- allows you to make international calls with wifi for only 1-2 cents per minute!

That's quite the list huh? Well I'm off traveling for three weeks & will have endured (I mean enjoyed ;) 6 different flights by the end of it all so everything on this list is saving my life.
I started with a flight from Nashville to Chicago which was less than stellar in a tiny jet which seemed

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hong Kong adventures coming soon!

Life has been so busy lately! It feels like forever since I've blogged but this trip is too good & it needs to be shared ;)
My husband is studying International Business with a concentration in Finance & Mandarin. When he was given the opportunity to study abroad in Hong Kong for a semester it was incredibly exciting. I won't lie and say that I didn't have pangs of fear at watching my husband take off for almost 5 months... but we both always say we should take our opportunities whenever they present themselves. We know that this experience is worth it in the long-run and missing each other is just temporary. He's learning so much and having some great adventures. We're almost halfway through the semester and I've finally gotten here for my visit! 
I'll be blogging along the way and sharing everything I can about the food I experience! If anyone has any suggestions or hints feel free to pass them on! We'll also be traveling to Singapore tomorrow so look for those updates.
Have a great weekend everyone!