We always talk about how travelling can broaden our minds. I am sure we both agree with that notion. Think about all the different cultures, different ethnicities and accents, local transport, and all the exotic colours belonging to a particular location. I love travelling outside Hong Kong and I try to do it once a year. Every time, I learn something more about the world.
The minute I step onto a piece of foreign soil, my mind is inspired and my heart sings. There are so many new things to explore and find out when you visit an unfamiliar place, and that includes myself. I'm always surprised at the things I discover about myself when I change from being a resident to a traveller. I guess it has something to do with stepping outside my comfort zone. When I'm not at home, I tend to try things without much hesitation. I also feel freer to start a conversation with a complete stranger.
Don't get me wrong, Joyee. I like Hong Kong as much as you do and I do go to interesting places at the weekend. But there is something magical about packing up and travelling far, like there is a sense of freedom and possibilities ahead of you. Great things do happen when people travel abroad - just think about the explorers who discovered new countries and even continents!
I have friends who would be thrilled to be on a 30-hour flight to the Arctic to meet polar bears and snowy owls. But they've never explored Hong Kong's picturesque countryside, which boasts a wide variety of animal and plant life. We have dolphins, leopard cats and black-faced spoonbills, and trees that are hundreds of years old.
Some people take photos in front of Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway and the Grand Canyon in America, but have no plans to see the towering rock columns in Hong Kong that have won recognition from Unesco's Global Geoparks Network. I know fashionistas who make regular trips to Tokyo to stock up on the hottest Japanese trends, but have never supported top local designers. We should all learn to appreciate our city first.
To explore Hong Kong, you don't need air tickets. And you'll be saving money and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time. For example, the Mai Po wetlands, estuaries in Yuen Long, offshore islands and corals off Sai Kung, and hikes across the territory could keep you busy for years to come. If you're not the outdoor type, you could enjoy a very British three-tier high tea at the best patisserie, treasure hunt at weekend markets and film festivals.
Explore Hong Kong before you board a flight elsewhere.
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