Welcome to Hong Kong

Landing in HKG at night is a bit surreal because of the water right by the runway; it looks as though you may have landed at JFK. I’m sure they don’t look the same at all and my eyes were just playing tricks on me, because I still can’t believe we’ve officially moved out of New York.

Somehow leaving New York was harder than any move I’ve ever made. I say that as though it’s a surprise, but of course I know why.

I had always wanted to live in New York since college, I just had no idea whether it was going to happen. After college I ended up in DC for a couple of years, then back in Chicago, where I’m from, and then back in DC where I started dating my husband.  It was after marriage that I started feeling a stronger urge to be in New York. But I thought “oh wait, he has to come with me 🙄”.  What I didn’t anticipate was that he would be the reason why I ended up in New York.  

Just after a year of marriage my husband got a new job opportunity that could have taken us to one of seven different cities. When he read the list, Persipanny, NJ immediately stood out. I thought, “The town itself is not that close to Manhattan, but he would have a company car and that would make it easy for him to get to there, right?”

One month later we found ourselves setting appointments with his company-sponsored brokers, and a month after that we moved to Chelsea, Manhattan.

It seems to me that most people move to New York without a spouse, to explore new opportunities, a new life, a new scene, and sometimes, a new self. And here I was moving to New York after marriage, with my existing job. But aside from my husband’s job, there was something about the city that called out to me. Little did I know how much was actually in store for me.

No, New York didn’t turn me into a millionaire, or a world-famous fashion icon, but it made me aware of the capabilities and identities other than the one I was taught to embrace after college. As mentioned in a previous post, My first year with IfStyleDanced, whether my day job was “consultant”, “product”, “sales”, the next 6.5 years after moving to New York reignited my creative side and introduced other identities such as, “dance fitness instructor”, “professional dancer”, “blogger”, and “influencer”.

Life in New York taught me to embrace my intuition. To say “yes” to opportunities that resulted from saying yes to the opportunities that came before. It taught me that vulnerability, while hard to embrace, is sometimes the only way to understand and expand yourself. Most importantly, New York gave me new friends/family without whom I may never have grown as much as I have.  

I’ll never claim to fully understand myself and I still have a lot of work to do in realizing what I want to create, but New York gave me everything I need to create that foundation.

So yes, it’s hard for me to realize that we now live in Hong Kong, granted it’s only Day 1.  Half of me realizes it while the other half thinks I’m on holiday.  All of the New York experiences and memories are forever with me. I just hope that I’m able use those experiences and actually start building something new.  

Blog edited by: Betty Ho

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