Tag Archives: rooftop bars

Bye Brisbane…Hello Hong Kong

4 Jun

20130604-212021.jpg

When major life changes are imminent or being experienced, we can’t help but reflect on where we have been, where we are and where we are going. Right now for me, it’s more about where I’ve been. I’m on a plane, feeling a little overwhelmed and sinking into deep thought. All I have is a medium sized travel bag, some gadgets and memories to take with me, some of which will fade, others nostalgically remembered.

56 months ago, I arrived in Brisbane for a 6 month contract. Everything I had thought would happen, didn’t. I never imagined that I would work in India for a project located in PNG, become single, start a blog, quit smoking, watch a ballet, take up running, cycling and forge friendships with people very different to me. The list is endless. If I could, would I change anything about this experience? Probably not. The whole experience was the sum of all the small decisions I made which I’m totally content with. It’s what has brought me to where I am, made me who I am, now.

What lies ahead? Will I return to live in Brisbane? Nobody really knows. I have a mud map of where I want to be in the future but it’s totally in the hands of opportunity. All I know is that I’m embarking on exciting five week round-the-world trip with the first stop being Hong Kong. Then it’s Dubai, Doha, London, New York, Miami, Orlando, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Sydney. Perhaps from Dallas I may extend my trip, and, continue onto Vegas, revisit San Francisco and drive down to LA. But that hinges on whether a new contract surfaces. Let’s see.

Prior to departure, I reconnected with someone very dear to my heart over a phone call. She asked me an interesting question, at least to me it was: “what are you most excited about?” I admit, it caught me off guard as I had been so engrossed in travel planning that I had almost forgotten about the trip itself. So the thought of interviewing myself came to mind for my first on-the-road post. I wanted to reflect on my expectations and excitement. I hope that you like it! Here goes…

What are you most excited about?
I’m excited about meeting up with my friends who are scattered across the globe. With the exception of Miami, I have at least one friend in each of the cities that I will visit. I’m looking forward to experiencing the pace and energies of both Hong Kong and New York, the contrasts and similarities between them.

Being “another food blogger”, you must be looking forward to discovering new food, right?
My interest in food consumes me as much as I love to consume it. The street food and markets of Hong Kong I hear are not to be missed. Bagels, pizza and hot dogs are a must in NYC so I’m hoping to sink my teeth in the best of the bunch. I’ll be in search of Cuban cuisine in Miami and Texan BBQ, well is there anything else to do in Texas? Alain Ducasse has recently opened a restaurant in Doha so I’m keen on trying that out too. Experiencing unfamiliar food is definitely one of the most exciting part of travelling.

Do you have an itinerary for each city?
Kind of. I have a list of tourist attractions I would like to see but with no real priority. In Hong Kong I really want to just get lost among the crowd, trek up to the Dragon’s back, do an overnight trip to Macau and see the markets. In Dubai, well I’ve been there twice and Doha it’s mostly about job hunting. I’m familiar with London so I’m not planning much except a quick catch up with friends, a run in Hyde Park, dinner on the Thames. In New York its Brooklyn, the Highline, Chelsea Markets and Rockefeller building, MOMA, MMOA, Meat Packing and East Village. Miami, it’s art deco and South Beach. Orlando is all about bonding with my daughter for eight days in Disney World.

Is there anything that you’re uneasy about or weary of?
Hmm, driving. When I travel, I don’t normally drive especially on the left hand side of the car. I will be taking the plunge this time and driving from Miami to Orlando, and, possibly from San Francisco to LA.

Are there any activities that you like to do without fail in every city?
Yes. I’m a big fan of rooftop bars and appreciate an Old Fashion or a glass of bubbly should I be sharing the vista with someone special (wink wink). The attraction for me is being able take in a birds-eye view of the city. For instance, if you’ve tried Aer in Mumbai, At.Mosphere in Dubai, Unique in Sao Paulo, Sky Bar at The Lebua or Vertigo at the Banyan Tree in Bangkok, you won’t be disappointed. I’m also looking forward to Oxo over the Thames and Ink48 in NYC.

Are there any activities that you plan on doing that you haven’t done before?

Yes. I’d never gone out to see a band in a foreign city during my travels and have tickets in hand to see The Boxer Rebellion at Webster Hall in NYC. I’m also aiming to complete a 10km run in each city, weather permitting of course. And just between you and me, maybe even some line-dancing in Texas!

As a frequent traveller, do you have any inside tips for other travellers?
If you have to travel economy, pay extra and get emergency exit row seating. The extra leg room is well worth it, especially on long haul flights.

Order a “special” meal. The truth is no meal is special on a plane even in Business. However, ordering a special meal means that you get your meal quickly, can eat at a reasonable pace instead of scoffing it down, and in doing so can get on with other things that you like. Even better, bring your own food. On a 16 hour direct flight from Vancouver to Sydney, I packed some leftover kale pie, nuts and bliss balls. It was definitely better than anything Air Canada could offer!

Join a frequent flyer program with the airline that you travel with most. The points will eventually accumulate and lounge access shall be granted where free booze, wi-fi, nibbles, comfy sofa and sometimes even a massage await (perfect after a long-haul).

Travel as light as you can. Avoid drinking alcohol on the plane, save it for your arrival. Plan a little and go with the flow because inevitably plans will change.

Also travel tips, suggestions and feedback are most welcome 😉 so please do share.

The not so special meal…

20130604-212628.jpg

%d bloggers like this: