I cannot contain the excitement, so now seems like a good time for a quick update! BIRTHDAY!!! :D :D :D Trip! Life! FUN!!
A lot of people grumble their way through their birthdays or ignore or forget them altogether. I like my birthday. A lot! It’s a great day to celebrate being around. I like being around!
I’m sure it helps that I’ve had such a damn great life, and that for as fun as childhood and adolescence was (and it was!), it seems to only get better every year. I mean this time last year, I was in a room with a view of the TAJ MAHAL. The Taj Mahal!! Since then I’ve gotten to have adventures galore in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Mongolia, Taiwan, China, Tibet and Hong Kong. Despite the distance and the time apart, I am still close friends with my closest friends and get to enjoy our bonds that I have tried very hard to maintain despite the challenges. With a couple of them, I am even closer than when I left. These are some very excellent gifts to reflect on a year later (and every day, which I do!).
Recent exploits have been excellent as well, and life is basically just humming along at optimum awesome all the time. The past, both recent and distant, has been incredible, the future both immediate and later-upcoming – I’m looking at you, Snowboard Season in Japan… – is mind-blowingly exciting and awesome, and as for the present, well… I’m sitting here in Hong Kong, getting to stay with an awesome HK local and fellow NAU peep, a friend of a friend from when they were neighbors in my most favorite of towns. I’ve gotten some birthday wishes already, Boyfriend’s been workin on SOMEthing for days, and I’m headed to Disneyland tomorrow for a great day of fun and exploration of a familiar scene in a very unfamiliar way.
Life. Is. Good.
Birthday excitedness aside (but only for a second, please :)), since we last caught up, we have indeed successfully loved the crap out of our last three weeks, and those several high-stress planning days in Chengdu – scheduled around panda pats of course – paid off with some awesome memories, great experiences, and some wonderful new friends. And all at a great price! We followed up the cruise and tour through Tibet (Potala Palace and MT. EVEREST!!!!) with a stop in Xian and saw the incredible Terracotta Warriors, unbelievably met MORE new awesome friends, and had a blast at our sweet hostel with its rad underground hopping bar, a free drink every night, and nice room and facilities for a mere $4.90 a person. Even our airplane/train combo to exit the country in time went well, I managed to squeak in my articles for the month to help fund us $150 more for some special bday drinks (we found Hoegaarden here!!! That’s ALMOST as good as Blue Moon!), and we found ourselves in Hong Kong just as planned after all that! Amazing!
We’ve had some fantastic food and good times here in HK just doing some low-key noodling around, half enjoying Davy’s company and kicking it, and half doing our tourist civic duties and walking around, taking in the sights. We’ve eaten some incredible sushi one morning and dim sum the next, visited the beautiful harbor to view the skyline and the water twice, walked the Avenue of Stars and seen the Bruce Lee statue and Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat, and Jackie Chan’s stars, watched the light show over the harbor, sat and had a ridiculously overpriced drink on the waterfront, visited the art museum AND the space museum, took in an IMAX Under the Sea show in the planetarium’s HUGE overhead screen (so cool), and walked around enjoying the bright neon lights of the street signs downtown and that fascinating mix of thousands of people and an orchestrated chaos in movement…yet directed with such utter efficiency, with a seamless metro and train system that should be the envy of the world over (especially YOU, PHOENIX!!!).
We did miss our 10-Year High School Reunion this week too, which was quasi-devastating for a person like me who honestly does love staying in touch with old friends and acquaintances, however strong or weak the tie, and does very much care how people are doing who I haven’t seen for years. I figured I’d be living a life of travel by the time ten years came around, but it never occurred to me then that I’d miss the reunion for it, thought I’d just build it into the plan, whatever that plan might be at that point. It was too weird though, too weird to imagine going back at this point. To be at Mt. Everest or the Terracotta Warriors one day, then Glendale and my high school and with all these peeps I haven’t seen for 10 years the next, and then Hong Kong right after that. We had to maintain the continuity of this trip. It’s been more than a year but we’re still trying to wrap our heads around it. But fortunately I already got to see some pics and hear some reports, and the great thing about life and other folks in it is that you get to keep going. It sucked to miss this one, the first reunion since graduation, but you can bet I’ll be organizing the next one when I get back. :)
From the roof of the world to back at blessed oxygen-rich sea level, top to bottom life is good. And as for me, 27 was damn good and 28 is gonna be even better.
Viva la vie!