Anticipation. I navigate the hectic, crowded streets of Hong Kong Central. Tourists and business men alike plough through the incessant traffic. Bodies run into me as I seek a ferry escape to the nearby island of Lamma. After navigating the complex, impassable streets of the Central Business District, I gratefully board a ferry to an unknown destination, a village name, and cross my fingers I’m headed the right way. Such is life.
My ferry magically docks at a remote fishing village, just 20 minutes outside of a bustling urban jungle, certainly they could not be part of the same city. It’s hot, humid, steamy even, and bugs descend on my damp unprotected skin. I’m irritated, I brought too much with me, beads of sweat roll off my forehead as I make my way through the tiny village, weaving my way into narrow pathways, then through a lush forest to the beach.
I let the chilled water of the South China Sea kiss my feet and pace around the sand in search of some shade. I can’t sit still so I continue onward, into the jungle, into the remote island. I need to move. A lookout temple beckons to me as I take in the breathtaking view of a misty Hong Kong Island in the distance. Right, stop and enjoy the moment. A vinyasa flow calms me as I embrace the heat, the sweat dripping down my face, the bugs that claim their territory. I’m an intruder after all, a visitor.
Peacefully retreating from my lookout, I continue onwards through tiny villages as day-to-day life unfolds. Not exciting or exceptional by any means, but beautiful in simplicity. The preparation of food, fishing to feed a village, maintenance of a small boat, children playing in the calm sea. Why do constantly I need things to be important, so spectacular? Can I enjoy the simplicity of island life, the beauty of the colorful fishing boats painting the calm green water? The misty, lush island mountains raising out of the sea majestically? The speckled butterflies dancing around me? What else is there right now?
Perhaps I should pay more attention to my surroundings than my thoughts. I aimlessly wander through temples, fishing ports, the pungent smell of salty dried fish consumes me. I settle at a local vegan spot and blissfully replenish my energy after hiking all morning. The mist sets in as I board the ferry back to the city, bidding farewell to this island I know I’ll never see again. I appreciate the space it provided, a calm, simple escape from skyscrapers, traffic, and the endless activity of Hong Kong.
Julie, thank you for letting me travel vicariously with you! I am able to see places where I may never visit. Safe travels! Your writing is beautiful. Some day you may write a book about your travels!