My dad was a US Marine1, my mom a PAL flight attendant2, and I grew up thinking I was born a traveller. That’s why I’m taking this world-tour thing seriously, starting by forcing myself to write about this wanderlust.
Let it be known that I do not want to do this. What I want is to watch stupid television shows through a tiny resized screen on my work computer. I want to play TripleTown and score high scores that’ll remain unchallenged because everyone’s too busy haggling for Candy Crush lives. I want to stare at my Sharpie collection and wonder why I have so many I use so infrequently. But here I am, on this page, driven by the knowledge that if I don’t do this now I probably never will3.
This is it – the pilot episode, the maiden voyage, the beginnings of digital journal of one who’s off to Great Places, one who’s off and away! This is entry #14 for Hong Kong 2013. Hi Tin, I did promise you I’d write this. 🙂
First off, I must share that I have a highly anal5 personality, and I normally think things over multiple times before allowing them to come into fruition. For Hong Kong, I thought of everything: packing snacks6, reserving tickets online7, even screencapping obscure Chinese products8. But I knew I screwed up9 the very moment we landed. I had packed my bags in an airless room in the middle of the sweltering Philippine summer – needless to say, the shorts-sando combinations I brought with me didn’t match the windbreakers and scarves that the HK locals had on10. So yes, I had thought of everything… except check on the weather.11
So as an act of public service to both you and my weather-ignorant future self, I’ve prepared a list of quick trip tips I’ve learned through the years:
- Check the stupid weather.
- If you’re like me and you don’t own a credit card, just make sure your boyfriend loves you very much.
- Research. Being a total HK noob in the year 201312, I was determined to experience something no one I know has gone through before. Luckily I found Dialogue In The Dark on TripAdvisor! Which brings me to…
- Know where you want to go. “Kahit saan” as your sole response no longer means you’re game and cool and adventurous. Nowadays it means “I’m lazy…13” Friends, trust me, it helps to have at least one destination in mind14. Dovagaeris… you have your freedom. Use it wisely.
- Learn “where’s the bathroom” in your destination country’s language. You can always gesture, but you never know what can be construed as either offensive or as a blatant come-on.
- Pack food. In non-developing countries, bags don’t usually get poked at upon amusement park entry. Be ruthless. Think of all those times as a kid when you were forced to stuff down an entire hotdog bun and chug on an entire bottle of water in front of the Enchanted Kingdom ladyguard because SAYANG.
- Bring different colored tops. If you’re taking a 6-day trip, might as well make your pictures look as if they were taken on 6 separate days15.
- For underwear, bring half of what you need then just wash them. I got this from my mom, and it’s no problem for me as I’m a huge fan of laundry16. The bag space you save always comes in handy later on.
- Use geotags, or at the very least, keep a detailed journal of the places you visit. I’m a memory packrat, and I keep a special travel notebook specifically for this.
- Try posting “ang humingi ng pasalubong, walang pasalubong” or any variation thereof to ensure the life expectancy of your savings. That way, you’re free to get things for the people you actually like and those you find annoying would deem you selfish and cranky and they’d leave you alone.
The Hong Kong day-to-day will follow someday. So, for now… get on your way! And don’t forget to check the weather, okay?
1 Thus the blue passport
2 Thus the yearly free tickets to any PAL destination
3 Coaxes self into writing about Beijing 2011 and Singapore/Taiwan/Korea 2012 but NOPE, PAKYU, BABY STEPS
4 Of many – I am a flibbertigibbet
5 Threw that in for all my pervy friends
6 So we wouldn’t have to shell out an insanely jacked-up amount for the same food
7 Skipped an hour-long outdoor Peak Tram line because of this
8 That’s how I scored your fish plates, Jrach
9 In a very superficial, very girly sense
10 This may seem trivial to most but I was travelling on a tight budget and I abhor shopping for clothes I already own but left behind
11 Ethtupida *exasperated telenovela sigh*
12 Honestly, ako na lang ba ang ngayon lang nakapunta doon???
13 “… and I have access to the Internet but all I do with it is stalk marvelously boring people with unlimited data plans posting marvelously boring social networking posts 24/7.” HashtagDracarysBurn
14 Mine was the now-dead Rubber Ducky
15 Lest you be accused of looking exactly the same on every Instagram post, que horror
16 And sewing and ironing and dishwashing and all chores except cooking, which unfortunately is the only housewifely thing that can sustain life