One of my favourite moments in life is being in an airplane just before it takes off into the air. I love hearing the roar of the engines and feeling the thrust of the aircraft as it gains speed down the runway, until it finally lifts off the ground and into the air. That feeling only lasts for a mere few seconds, but those few seconds always give me a sense of renewal as it represents the beginning of an exciting new journey.
I experienced that moment again while taking off at Toronto Pearson just a few days ago, headed for Hong Kong International Airport. I have done that flight a good half a dozen times over the past couple years, but this particular flight was different. This was a significant flight for me because it represented a true new beginning – the beginning of a life divided between two cities: Toronto and Hong Kong.
If you had asked me, 3 years ago, whether or not I could picture myself starting a life in Hong Kong, I would have said no without any hesitation. Hong Kong was just a place I traveled to and visited on occasion. I had never actively considered a life away from Toronto, the only place I have ever known as home. But as I am sitting here in Hong Kong, typing up this post, I can not be more certain that this is where I am meant to be at this moment in time. Three years ago, I abandoned my blog of six years and began a new blog telling my personal story. I called it “Her Story“. I didn’t know, at the time, that by telling my story I was creating a change in my life. I believe that by changing my life’s path, it led me to Hong Kong. Over the past couple of months, my boyfriend and I have been working tirelessly at planning every detail of our new home. For him, having lived in Hong Kong for the past 5 years and recently purchased an apartment, this is the beginning of life in a home that is truly his. For me, it is the beginning of life away from my family and friends.
It was not an easy decision to make. Being an only child, it was not easy to wrap my head around the idea of being so far from home; Hong Kong is literally on the other side of the globe. And with my parents getting older, I had hoped to spend more time with them. Then there was my work at Chapters. I had started working there as a teenager and remained there for almost 13 years, even when I explored other types of work. Working with books became a passion. It became my art. I was an artist, and books was my medium. I took pride in being able to go to work each day and genuinely enjoy my work as a merchandiser, creating visual displays that would not only please the eyes but also provoke people to buy. The artist in me was needed to create good-looking visual displays, while my business mind was needed to understand how those visual displays could make money for the company. I think it was this perfect marriage of my two sides that allowed me to excel at my work and, in turn, love what I did. I couldn’t imagine parting with my art, but I also realized that I couldn’t have a true new beginning without a proper end to my past.
After more than two years of contemplating the idea of moving to Hong Kong and letting it sink in, I finally made the decision to take a leap. I admit that coming to a place where I don’t have a job, have little family and only a few friends, and have absolutely no certainty of the future is incredibly frightening. But I also know that taking this step was necessary for both me and my relationship to grow, and now seems to be the perfect time to take this step. In a couple of weeks, we will be moving into our new home together. It will be the beginning of learning to live with one another and learning to take care of a home. I will finally have the time to work on developing aspects of myself that I have struggled to find time for, such as maintaining a healthier lifestyle through cooking and exercising, organizing the home and, more importantly, work on my writing. I look forward to using this blog to document my move to Hong Kong and to allow others to see what it is like to live in two cities; the differences, the similarities, the fun times, as well as the hardships.
Like an airplane that sped down the runway before taking off, I feel like I am finally soaring above the clouds.