packing my bags

In just 6 days, I’m going to be on a flight to Hong Kong.

Yup. I said Hong Kong.

I can’t even express how excited I am about this trip.

John, wonderful partner that he is, will be single parenting while I am away. I’ll be attending a conference in Hong Kong, and will be staying for 8 days. However, seeing as travel to and from takes such a long time, I will be gone largely for 11 days. In case you are unable to do the math in your head, 11 days with 2 small children and only 1 parent equals a really freakin’ long time. But John was willing and remarkably supportive, if not necessarily eager to be rid of me, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. (It also would have been unreasonably expensive for all of us to go.) I wanted to try to minimize my away time, but seeing as I will be travelling to the other side of the planet, I decided not to skimp too much on my end. Hence the 11-day absence.

The conference is 5 days long, which leaves only 3 days of being a tourist, at least some chunk of which is likely to be eaten up by jetlag. (It looks like I’ll be cheating a bit, though, and ducking out of the conference one of the 5 days.)

I have yet to work out the specifics of my plans for my non-conference time. Among my goals for my stay are:

  • A trip to Macau, the nearby former Portuguese colony that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Seeing a Hong Kong action movie in Hong Kong
  • Eating obscene amounts of delicious food that I can’t easily find at home
  • Taking obscene amounts of photos that I definitely can’t take at home
  • Going on some sort of hike or excursion to a green space (YTSL of Webs of Significance has been taunting me for years with gorgeous photos of her hikes around Hong Kong. You might be amazed at the lush nature that can be found there!)

I am very excited that I’ll be getting to meet up with YTSL herself. (She’s one of my earliest blogging friends. We coincidentally started our blogs on the same day almost 5 years ago, and “met” only a month later through our mutual love of movies with kick-ass women characters.) I’m also happy that I will get to see a friend from highschool who now lives in Hong Kong.

I am very much looking forward to the conference itself, too. It is the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, known informally as ICPhS (or “ick-fiss”). It takes place only every 4 years. I went to the last one, in 2007, which was how I ended up in Saarbrücken, Germany. It was a fantastic conference, and I’ve been wanting/hoping/dreaming about going to the one in Hong Kong ever since.

As you might expect, I have a huge number of things to go before my trip. For a start, I have a lot of work to do on the presentation my research group will be giving at the conference. (I won’t be the one speaking, but I tend to be the one who does graphics for our presentations.) I also have a variety of home and trip-prep things to do. Unfortunately, the timing of my big trip coincides inconveniently with our daycare provider’s own vacation schedule. She’ll be closed this Wednesday through next Tuesday. This means that I will have Theo on my hands for the 3 days before my trip, and also Phoebe on one of those days. This leaves 2 full working days, one of which I have committed to meeting with my advisor to discuss my own research “progress.” (Though likely we will also talk about the Hong Kong presentation, as my advisor will be the one presenting.)

I’ve been wanting to write about how much I love travel, and was thinking that it would be one my “40 things I like” posts, but I don’t see myself having the time to invest in that right now. I have too many things to pack in during my next few days.

Did I mention that I’m going to Hong Kong?

26 thoughts on “packing my bags

  1. Hi Alejna —

    I love that you’re so looking forward to visiting Hong Kong and approve of all of the things you want to do while here. Hope you get to do everything on your list — though be warned that Hong Kong action movies are thin on the ground right now. (I hope that “Wu Xia” will still be showing when you come over — like it quite a bit and think you will too, not least because there’s one cool kickass woman in it. :b)

    1. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the movies, then, and will hope that “Wu Xia” can stick around another week! And please let me know if there are other things I should add to my list of things to do.

        1. Yes, a museum would definitely be a good thing. Any particular ones I shouldn’t miss?

          As for a beach, I admit that the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind.

          1. Hi again Alejna —

            To get a good overview of Hong Kong’s story, I suggest you check out the Hong Kong Museum of History and its The Hong Kong Story exhibition:-

            Re beaches: Hong Kong really does have quite a few — with the Cheung Sha , Clear Water Bay and Tai Long Wan (Sai Kung) beaches being particularly recommended… and, if you’re pressed for time and going on a weekday, the Hong Kong Island beaches at Shek O, Repulse Bay and Stanley aren’t too bad either. :)

  2. How amazing for you! I was in a tizzy trying to pack for a trip that was only to Las Vegas for three days, I can only imagine the mental lists you have going. Can’t wait to see pics!

    1. Given your “yikes,” I edited the name from your previous comment down to just your first name. (Being able to edit comments is one of the perks of WordPress.)

  3. Wow, Alejna! How exciting! Have a wonderful time and tell us about it when you get back (assuming the kids let you out of their sight for long enough after your thrilling return).

    1. I hope to be able to share some photos along the way. I plan to go equipped with the technology. I also plan for all the technology to cooperate.

      1. I think that is a GREAT plan! Both plans, that is.

        Your photos are always excellent. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about the technology.

  4. I visited Hong Kong long, long ago — in my early 20s — and found the city exhilarating and overwhelming both. I didn’t know there the island had all that unpaved area; now I want to go back! (Oh, and I ate really, really weirdly and really, really well.)

    Have fun, Alejna!

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