Lost & Found: Comfort Zone

Happy First Friday of the Year 2013! I’m new to Herb & Lace but am very grateful to be a part of this project sharing some local stories in Hong Kong. I hope to keep the inspiration flame going.

When people ask me where I am from, a simple question can turn into a long story. And then from that long story of course they will wonder, how did I end up in Hong Kong? Very unplanned and sudden, I would never have thought that I would have the opportunity to work in Hong Kong and be in the situation where I don’t board the plane “home” – pushing back my return flight to the States (Northern California).

After being in Hong Kong for a few months now, here are some words of advice for people who are thinking about sudden changes in their environments. Even when it seems like you are leaving your life behind in a different place, there will be parallels for you to find. There will be places that really hit home whether it’s a jazz lounge in Sheung Wan (San Diego), a co-working space in Wan Chai (San Francisco), or a hike up Devil’s Peak in Lei Yue Mun (Hawaii). And that’s when you will start to find your comfort zone.

Here are some places that helped me find my comfort zone in Hong Kong:

Peel Fresco Music Lounge (reminiscent of jazz bars in San Diego, e.g. Prohibition): As I was looking for a live-music venue in Hong Kong (to celebrate my friend’s and my birthday in the same week), we were lucky to come across their Brazilian Jazz Trio performance (a different live performance is held every Thursday). We heard vocal jazz music by Lidi Satier from Brazil, including songs from her new CD which I luckily received as a gift. :D

Street Art close to Peel Fresco Music Lounge.

Street Art close to Peel Fresco Music Lounge.

The Hive (reminiscent of co-working spaces in San Francisco, e.g. The Hatchery): With a background in the field of user experience, I was very interested in what Hong Kong had to offer its UX community and whether there were events to foster this community. Turns out, one of the companies that I got the chance to meet with in Hong Kong previously held an event at “The Hive”, a co-working space in Wan Chai, within the walking distance from my office. (Fate!) I had to look more into it. On the Election Day back in the States, there was an event for Evernote, the note taking software company headquartered back in Redwood City, California. It was from this event that I met the locals (Vivek Mahbubani – HK’s Funniest Person of 2007, folks from Livescribe, Sina, and a new friend wearing a “I voted for Obama” pin!)

HKInstayay (reminiscent of hiking trails in Hawaii, e.g. The Lanikai Pillboxes): This is by far one of my favorite events I’m fortunate to come across. Whether you use Instagram, like to take photos, like to venture out of the norm, or meet like-minded individuals, HK Instayay is for you! I was lucky to come across this event after following one of the organizers on Instagram and hearing more about it from my friend whom I newly met at the Evernote event! I went to HK Instayay #17, an afternoon photo-walk through the fishing villages of Lei Yue Mun. I met with one-day travelers from Macau, China, and Europe, locals whom may have studied abroad for college, and Tyson Wheatley and Jethro Mullen, the two senior editors from CNN who hosted the event. It was such a great group of journalists, traveling editors, product designers, graphic designers, and information technologists, aware of politics, design, travel that definitely promoted invigorating conversations. After a photo walk through the villages, we hiked up Devil’s Peak for a grand view of the harbourside and walk through some remains of military bunks from the early 1900s. A definite weekend workout, we ended the day with some Tung Po, a favorite of Anthony Bourdain. “Instayays,” Instagram Meetups, are usually held once a month depending on people’s schedules, but the next one will be held in Macau on Sunday, January 27th.

With a group of 30+ folks fond of photography, you might score your next profile picture haha.

With a group of 30+ folks fond of photography, you might score your next profile picture haha.
Photos courtesy of @twheat @chrischen377 @yungandrew & @jethromullen

What are some cities you have thought about moving to? Or how about thoughts on leaving the city for countryside?

Spark a conversation.

Peel Fresco Music Lounge
49 Peel Street, Central
+852 2540 2046

The Hive
21/F, The Phoenix Building,
No. 23 Luard Road, Wan Chai
+852 3568 6343

HKInstayay
Location: Varies – find out via their Facebook page.

6 comments

  1. Cindy says:

    I have yet to tackle the Lanikai Pillboxes! It’s been on my list, but everytime I go to the area I just end up lounging at the beach and loose all motivation to hike :)

    • oneheartmind says:

      Have you heard of the Staircase to Heaven? That’s on my list!! and I don’t blame you with the beaches (they are nicer on the west!).. I haven’t been back for a few months – feels like ages!

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