I can’t believe it’s been a year now. Time flies fast. Or was I just too busy?
Roughly a year ago, we experienced our first-ever trip abroad. In Hong Kong, no less. I can still remember it. Almost every detail. To say that I was excited would be an understatement. I slept over at one of my friend’s house nearby the airport since my flight is at 5 AM the next day. I had work on a Sunday and my flight was on Monday. Yep, I barely had sleep..only two to three hours only. Half-asleep, yes. I had too many things to think of, and dream of.
2AM. My alarm woke me up, and had me jolting upwards. It’s time to shower. I slowly and quietly got out of bed (my friend was still snoring beside me) and grabbed the towel. After shower, I saw my friend preparing his bags (just now) and was asking me what else should she bring. I was prepared for this, of course. I gave her my to-bring list and she told me to go downstairs to have my breakfast. Oh, so thoughtful. She followed soon after and we had almond cornflakes and cold milk. Nice. I felt good. I am all set now. We packed some pancakes (her mom was so sweet to cook for us ahead of time), hotdog sandwiches and biscuits (which we bought the other day), too. We didn’t bring bottled water because it’s not allowed. And off we went back upstairs and got dressed. We discussed a little and finally brought our bags downstairs. We don’t have luggages, by the way. I only had a backpack (your average Jansport size) and a small carry-on body bag. She brought two big bags, way heavier than what I had. We went inside the car and bid goodbye to her family. I will say goodbyes to my mother later, when I’m on the plane.
Off we drove. It’s a half past 3AM when we arrived at the airport, I think. We called our other friend and said we are already at the terminal and asked her whereabouts. She’s on the way! After a few minutes, we saw her getting off the taxi. So we continued our way inside.
Everything went smoothly, good thing there were just a few people on queue. We are lucky. Or so we thought.
Immigration. The most dreaded part. I didn’t expect to be deferred. I honestly and simply answered all questions, showed my IDs, and filled out forms correctly. I am not exactly sure why. My other friend also had the same problem. We were instructed to another area where other people were also waiting. Daaaamn! Do we really have to do this?!? My mind was running wild again. Yes, the pessimistic me is resurfacing. Whew. I told myself to relax and focus. After what seemed like eternity, me and my friend were called at the same time, and was asked random questions. This time, we both told the IOs that we ARE friends, and as a proof, showed previous pictures of us together. We showed our company and health provider IDs to prove we won’t look for work in HK. And we got our stamp.
I almost lost my patience and composure there. But thank God we survived. Now I know what to do next. While waiting for our plane, we ate some snacks, and bought water inside. We discussed about what happened and felt great. We moved on from the incident and excitedly took pictures. I excused myself and called my mother. I was so relieved from what happened, and I told her everything. I thought of all the money, time, everything that could have been wasted if we weren’t allowed to get in just because of some random IOs attitude.
And then we were called to move to another area. As usual, there was a delay. This airline is popular for having regular delayed flights every now and then. But after ten minutes or so, we boarded the plane. And my heart was jumping for joy.
Our itinerary was quite simple. I made Day 1 and Day 3’s schedule. We followed the tour package’s itinerary on Day 2.
- Day 1 — Disneyland (oh, was that difficult?)
- Day 2 — HK: Avenue of Stars, Chocolate shop, Jewelry shop, T Galleria, city tour; Macau : Fisherman’s Wharf, Ruins of St Paul, Na-cha temple, The Venetian
- Day 3 —The Peak Tram, Sky Terrace, Madame Tussauds, Ladies Market
Looking back at all the pictures makes me feel accomplished. We were able to do all that I planned in our itinerary. I can say our first trip was successful. Except maybe when I lost my camera in Disneyland. But thankfully, the locals are friendly enough to return it to the City Hall Lost and Found counter. And it was returned to me in less than 24 hours. Again, another miracle! To think that that camera is not mine, and that tons of pictures are in stored there. Aside from that, everything went smoothly. We had fun.
Fast-forward to present. Year 2016, month of July.
Me and my travel buddies met two Saturdays ago, and had buffet at one of the nearby restaurants in the office. We talked about travel plans, and was choosing from different options. There were some considerations this time, since it’s our third time already.
We had a good conversation and I think we’re on our way to our next destination, wherever it may be. That is, before I head to Japan, God-willing.