In just a few days, we will be embarking on the family adventure of a lifetime; a whirlwind trip to southeast Asia with the whole gang in tow. As it draws closer, I am overwhelmed with excitement for our homecoming back to Hong Kong - the birthplace of my creative side, and the influence behind most of designwork. It's been a long time since I had thought our time there...
When we left our flat in the Mid-Levels ten years ago, life dealt us a completely different hand of cards. Within months of being back in the States, we were parents and finding our place in a new city. The life that we had in the Far East was quickly a memory tucked away behind the busy days of diapers and going back to school. Then after a new career took off and the kids became grade-schoolers, that exotic life was completely compartmentalized into that section of your brain that doesn't like to remember what life was like without responsibility.
But lately in anticipation of the trip and in casual conversation with friends about the itinerary, I've opened up Pandora's box, and the memories have started to come out of hiding. The places where we travelled are becoming vivid again, and the experiences that we had there are now on the forefront of my mind. In fact, what I uncovered (a decade later) was that living abroad was the single most influential thing that I have done in my life. Aside from the obvious effect that it had on my career path, the experience exposed me to things that I didn't realize I was missing. It took me out from my shelter and taught me to be open about the rest of the world. It is the reason that I want my children to be travellers and to welcome culture. It is the reason that we continue to live in a city instead of the suburbs. And it is the reason that I like my lumpy Lombok pot.
So with that said, I'll be out of touch for awhile - busy hiking up Victoria Peak and taking the double-decker bus over to Stanley in search of a good bargain and a beer at Smugglers - but I will look for inspiration along the way, take lots of photographs, and remember to keep the box open when I return.