The GoGlobal Blog

Month: December 2016

5 Tips to a Successful Immersion Abroad

5 Tips to a Successful Immersion Abroad

And just like that the semester was over! As I prepare for my spring semester abroad in Vietnam, I reflect upon my experience in Beijing–and man, what an experience! I sit writing this post in Lisbon, Portugal sitting across from a young gentleman who spent his semester studying in Vaxjo, Sweden and a woman who traveled around India for a month. We discuss the cultural barriers we encountered and the big insights we gained. Here were some of my key takeaways that I will be referring to as I continue my year abroad:

  1. Language, language, language: the more I travel, the more I discover how important language skills are. As a native English speaker from the United States, it can be difficult to find opportunities to practice foreign languages but, at least in terms of developing personal relationships, the ability to speak someone’s native tongue is crucial. I once met an Ecuadorian man who told me that his girlfriend of two years only knew the “English” side of him. Language is beautifully complicated and there are parts of this Ecuadorian man that can’t be translated. As I was saying goodbye to a dear Chinese friend of mine, all she could manage to say was, “you’re my favorite and I’ll miss you a lot…I have so much more to say but I can only say it in Chinese…” Over the next semester, I strive to dedicate even more time to developing my language skills. I know no Vietnamese but I am setting a goal now to actively seek out opportunities to practice the language while in-country.
  2. Cultural competency: you can read about China in the newspapers, you can watch Chinese movies, and you can make a trip to Chinatown, but you won’t understand what you don’t know until you are fully immersed in the deeply complex culture of the country. Same goes for almost every nook and cranny in the world. I learned the most about my host country through my interactions with the locals–an invaluable aspect of study abroad. Through one conversation I had with a Chinese national, I heard about her study abroad experience during the Dalai Lama’s visit in the United States. She was attending Loyola University Chicago and all of her friends were getting tickets to see the Dalai Lama except for her. They were confused about her lack of enthusiasm. She told them about her view of the Dalai Lama and many were shocked to hear her opinion. Because of her friends’ reaction, she herself questioned her views–just as I have continuously throughout my cultural confrontations. It is these nuggets of rediscovery and discomfort that give us the most knowledge. During the next phase of my travels abroad, I am placing an emphasis on interacting with the locals.
  3. Professional development: Beijing is an excellent place to broaden your skill set. My semester in China opened my eyes to a new world of business. Any study abroad experience can give you the opportunity to work in a cross-cultural setting that demands you to rise to a new standard. While in Vietnam, I will work at another institution further developing global-professional skills.
  4. Health: pay attention here! I am about to give you my secret to success: HEALTH!! My health regiment is as easy as this: sleep, eat healthy, drink lots of water, exercise, and stay positive. That simple. As long as I stay healthy, I am happy, energetic, focused, and productive.
  5. Consciousness of self: as a part of my jesuit education, I learned about the importance of R E F L E C T I O N. As a busy-bee, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of study abroad. But, sometimes, I must take a moment to stop going through the motions of life and ask myself: what is the motivation behind my actions? As a young volleyball player, my coach used to yell at me, “be mindful!!” After all, how can you fix incorrect behavior if you have fallen into a pattern? Same goes for life abroad. After my initial settlement into a new environment, I can get caught up in a routine. However, I have been able to accomplish the goals I set by constantly reminding myself what they are and choosing actions that align with my set goals. I reflect by journaling, conversing with close friends, or simply spending some time with myself. Now, as I look back at the goals I set for last semester, I am proud to say I have accomplished most. To continue to set myself up for success, I will follow the five tips I have mentioned as I carry on my journey.
You Know You’re In Love, When the Hardest Thing To Say Is … Goodbye

You Know You’re In Love, When the Hardest Thing To Say Is … Goodbye

Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 9.53.54 AM Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 9.53.41 AM Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 9.53.23 AM

The answer to everyone’s question: how was China?

The perfect answer is a 20 second elevator speech. It must break all barriers and sum up the experience in more than just “it was great” but it cannot wind on for too long so that people lose interest. The perfect answer provides more insight into China, but doesn’t seem to unreal that many think China is untouchable. The perfect answer … doesn’t exist.

I’m not going to miss the mannerisms of China. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve taught me a lot about culture changes and how privileged I am here. That being said, I don’t think I will ever appreciate the spitting of flem on the ground, or the cutting or the pushing. And yes, the pollution and lack of 24 hotwater is not ideal, but hey, I survived, so really, I can survive almost anything, right?

As I sit here lying in bed, at 5:30 am, because I love JetLag, it’s hard not to have a gajillion thoughts running through my head. It’s as if I’m coming back to a world where my life has been put on hold, but everyone else’ has kept moving forward. In reality though, my life has been moving forward, just in another way that no one but the people I experienced it with will really understand.

Going into China, I never really had expectations. In fact, the one advice that my friends gave me was to not have any. Meet the love of your life they said. Eat some dumplings. But really, just soak it all in.

So what makes leaving China so hard? Really, China offered a sense of independence that I’ve never felt before. Going away to college, I was able to create my own life story, but still under the pretense of a culture I was already pretty used to. China on the other hand, offered independence, but independence in a whole other way. Instead of deciding which familiar place I wanted to order takeout food to, I was presented with the options to go to another part of a city. There was always something new to be eaten, new to be explored … really, I never got into a serious routine, thus I was never bored.

Part of the exploration of China itself was also interesting because we fully did not master the language. My Chinese is good enough to get us where we need to go, or even to hold basic conversations with the taxi drivers who decided that I was cool enough to be friends with. But, I couldn’t go into a menu and just look at the words (with no pictures) and be able to tell you what was being served. It’s funny because even though we made it a point to try new restaurants, unless there were pictures, we pretty much stuck to ordering the same thing …. Egg and tomato with noodles, cucumber salad, dumplings, baozi, jaozi, beef noodles, kabobs, and naan. But, sometimes we would laugh at the things we thought we were getting, versus the things that actually came out.

The other part was the spontaneity of traveling. On more than one occasion, we found ourselves planning trips to costal cities or Shanghai at 1 am on Friday morning, only to leave 12 hours later at 1pm. We could go wherever we wanted, and we would always have no real plan, we could just soak it in. My one regret is not traveling more in China. It’s a little more difficult than I think traveling in Europe is, just because I didn’t have a visa that let me leave the country more than twice, and China is so vast, but also has very diverse topography, so it’s harder to get places quickly. But, even the different regions we explored offered a culture so different from each other, like going from the south to the west coast, that we were surprised by the different foods they had to offer, as well as the friendliness (or lack of) towards foreigners, and even the prices of things or what they sold. Hong Kong for example, was a modern city that went through growth, but everywhere we went was high end stores like Gucci and Prada and places I had never even heard of. Shanghai in its own was such a modern city, I don’t think I ever saw one piece of trash on the streets themselves. Contrastingly, Qingdao was a coastal city with tons of hole in the wall shops and restaurants, and gave off a more small town vibe where so many people wanted to talk to us because they said they don’t attract as many tourists especially when it’s not beach weather.

The best part about China though? The people. I could go on for hours about the friends I made, and subsequently am really torn to leave. My Chinese Roommate, Jenny, was my source of inspiration, who without I would still be wandering around China super lost. Jenny supported me and really encouraged me to speak Chinese to the point that I felt confident enough in myself to do it. The late night talks we had about boys or even just culture in general gave me a better understanding into what life is like in China for someone my age. Even all the other Chinese Roommates were friendly faces that were always there to order Takeout, and people I will never forget because they were the real reason we got to get connected to China – they took us to different restaurants and to Karaoke and helped us order things off TaoBao, the Chinese Amazon, and even helped us make reservations at places we might have not experienced.

As cliché as it sounds, spending 4 months in a foreign country with a small group of 35 people makes you become friends with people I normally don’t think I would have. These people you see everyday become such a familiarity, that waking up in my own bed knowing I can’t just walk two doors down or a floor down to see my friends is a feeling that’s so strange and hard to get used to. I felt like by the time I left, certain people knew me on a deeper level than some of my close friends do back in Chicago, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s sad that some people I may never see again in my life, and others, I’m counting down the days to go visit. I’ll miss sitting outside in the gazebo staring at the sky (or lack thereof) sipping on zhenzu (bubble tea), or sitting in the back of Chinese class creating ridiculous stories about ourselves to keep us entertained, or watching movies on movies on movies or tv shows on tv shows on tv shows. I’ll miss the grandmas and green bean runs or runs to the bread lady. I’ll miss begging for food in the Library when I’m too lazy to venture outside the building, or my surprise visits to the lounge where I convinced everyone studying to take a break and come get food. I’ll miss the silk road trip and the back of the bus where I created my group of girl friends that was inseparable ever since. I’ll miss the concerts and the games of dice we used to play when we went out (and the amount of Pizza Hut I still owe my friend). These people, the ones who experienced something and who are the only ones that can really understand what we went though and who we are, will always have a place in my heart.

Ultimately, leaving for China, I was so stuck in my routine, in my ways. I would always have to workout at least 6 times a week, I never stayed up past 1am, and I was so comfortable with my friends, I never really tried to venture outside of what I knew. I knew the person/place that would eventually help me realize that I didn’t need my rigid routine to be happy and comfortable would be the place that I felt most at home. And the people I met in China and China itself did that for me.

So have I changed? Being home I really couldn’t tell you. I feel like the same person, I look like the same person (minus the few pounds I probably put on from the dumplings), yet some part of me tells me that I’ve grown so much, which only time can tell.

How was China? I loved it. I really did. But some things will just never be able to be explained on paper, and this is one of them.

My advice, if you’re looking to study abroad and really challenge yourself, China is an amazing place. I found a love for writing that I didn’t think I had by getting an internship. I met friends who have changed my life forever. I never really found the love of my life, but I fell in love with a culture that so many think is so foreign and untouchable.

Hopefully I’ll get over this JetLag soon and the immediate sadness of leaving something and people I love so much. But in the meantime … this is me signing off on my blog and subsequent writing career;)  Zai jian!

Dutch Wonderland: The Amsterdam Aesthetic

Dutch Wonderland: The Amsterdam Aesthetic

“How do you say hello and goodbye?”

“Hello and goodbye!”

“Okay. How do you say thank you?”

“Thank you!”

I clearly wasn’t getting the answer I wanted from our academic dean Professor Evers. Since he’s from the Netherlands, I thought it would be culturally considerate to ask him how to say some basic Dutch phrases before my impending trip to Amsterdam. But apparently, the Dutch all speak English anyway!

Despite the lack of a language barrier, Amsterdam still proved itself to be a significant cultural adjustment from both the U.S. and Italy, seemingly its own little Dutch Wonderland!

2016-11-19 14.53.56Our neighborhood for this weekend was located in the Amsterdam Noord area across the bridge from the downtown area. Idyllic and easily walk-able, this residential area was lined with playgrounds, grocery markets, and ginger bread-esque houses. When you think of quintessential Northern Europe, Amsterdam Noord fit the bill!

Ellen, our Airbnb host, came home from her shift at the hospital around 11 PM, just when we were about to head out to explore the downtown area. She was tall with fair skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes just like her son and almost every other Dutch person I’d seen so far.

When my friend Karisma and I told her our plans to explore the downtown area by night, she kept repeating, “But it’s late; it’s really late.”

This was interesting to us, because 11 PM is a normal time to go out in Italy. But apparently, the Dutch retire early. Well, almost all the Dutch….

Downtown, we discovered Christmas lights reflecting off canals lined with colorful boats and eclectic coffee shops. White swans floated upon the water’s glass-like surface, creating ripples that made the reflections dance. It was festive without even trying, like The Nutcracker ballet’s scenery plastered onto real life. If the North Pole melts because of global warming, Santa Claus would feel right at home in Amsterdam!

2016-11-19 17.05.24

On the other, shadier hand, another section of town juxtaposed delight with depravity. It almost snuck up on us, only marked by small silver posts close to the ground with red lights like little demon eyes. Window by pink fluorescent-lighted window, scantily clad women of all (legal, I’d hope) ages waited expectantly while the men outside openly weighed their options and made their selections for an evening of ostentatious objectification. Grand-looking theatres we didn’t dare venture into advertised sights we couldn’t bear to see. In case you haven’t guessed already, this was the Red Light District.

To recover from our shock and homesickness, we power-walked into the nearest Domino’s Pizza for some American comfort food. (Yes, they have Domino’s Pizza in Amsterdam!) Munching on our Domino’s, Karisma and I processed what we had just witnessed in the Red Light District. The question we both pondered is, why were we so shocked by sex work in Amsterdam when stuff like that happens all the time in American cities like Las Vegas?

2016-11-18 01.04.15 (1)

We both analyzed the situation and came to an interesting conclusion. Unlike Las Vegas–with its casinos modeled after famous structures such as the Eiffel Tower and the pyramids, and with its lines of glittering, feathered dancers–sex work in Amsterdam isn’t discreet or glamorized. Instead, it’s point-blank and depressing. The Dutch make no attempt to hide the fact that women willingly sell their bodies to put food on the table. While Americans are secretly sordid, Dutchmen are immodestly immoral.

Mind you, this didn’t change in my opinion of Amsterdam. I still loved my Dutch Wonderland! But all cities bear some underground ugliness. Political corruption lurks in the shadows of the White House. There are more homeless people than Hollywood hopefuls in Los Angeles. The City of Broad Shoulders doesn’t lift a finger to amend the gun violence that haunts its South Side. So I guess we take the good with the bad, too.

Still, I couldn’t help but think about my Airbnb host Ellen and her teenage son. I wondered how she was able to shield him from such readily accessible vice. Or maybe she didn’t try to shield him at all. Maybe it’s all just part of the culture. Still, if I were a parent, I’d be worried sick!

2016-11-18 13.48.25

On Friday morning, our friend Brenna joined us, and we met her at Amsterdam Centraal Station. As I walked through the throng of tall, blonde Dutch people, I realized that I felt way differently here than I did back in Italy, mostly because of my height. In Italy, I’m an Amazon, but in the Netherlands, I’m a dwarf!

Now, it was time for some tourist attractions! The first one we visited, and by far the most important on our list, was the Anne Frank House. This was the actual annex of the canal house that Anne Frank, her family, and four other Jewish people hid inside for two years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, until they were all tragically betrayed, arrested, and sent to concentration camps. Three interesting aspects of this museum stood out to me in particular.

One was that Anne dreamed of becoming a famous writer. Although she achieved her wish under unfortunate circumstances, no one can deny that the journal collected by her father Otto Frank and entitled Diary of a Young Girl indeed became a worldwide bestseller, translated into dozens of languages and taught in classrooms across the globe. I’m sure that Anne looks down from heaven and smiles that trademark grin, knowing that she made a difference in the world through her message of tolerance in spite of turmoil and forgiveness in spite of fear.

2016-11-19 13.29.40

That being said, another aspect of Anne’s experience that I’m glad the museum highlighted was her anguish. I remember reading excerpts of her diary at my Catholic grade school, the curriculum emphasizing her incredible grace under pressure and capacity for mercy towards her oppressors. However, I found it refreshingly real to read pages of her diary at the museum in which she wrote things about feeling emotional catharsis through crying, wishing she could run outside and scream, and yearning for the simple pleasures of fresh air and birdsong. Reading about Anne’s moments of weakness solidified my image of her as a living, breathing teenager, who whines and complains as all teenagers do. This made me empathize with her situation even more. Anne Frank was not just a martyr, but she was also a mortal.

2016-11-19 15.01.02

The final aspect of the museum that really stuck out to me was that Otto Frank chose to keep the annex unfurnished. At first I thought that this omission ruined the whole experience because it would seem more genuine if museum visitors could see their beds and all their knick-knacks in the way that they lived. Yet, as our tour concluded, I began to understand the deeper meaning of Otto Frank’s decision. Leaving the annex unfurnished served as a physical representation how the Nazis stripped the Jews and other marginalized groups of not only their belongings, but also their civil liberties. If you lose everything you own, you still have your rights, but if you lose your rights, you have nothing. Overall, visiting the Anne Frank House was probably one of the most powerful experiences I had during my semester abroad.

On Sunday, we went to the Heineken Experience, which was a museum attached to the Heineken factory where the Dutch make their world-famous beer! Our tour guide taught us that the four main ingredients for Heineken beer are water + barley + hops + the mysterious patented “A” yeast. I thought that, at any moment, Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants was going to come in and try to steal their secret formula!

2016-11-20 13.18.30

The best part of this museum was when I learned the proper way to pour Henieken from the tap and I became a Certified Pourer, all thanks to Brenda my bartending coach! I messed up a few times initially (if you would consider five times a few), and I had to drink all the pints I screwed up (yes, all five). As you can imagine, this only worsened my pouring performance. Still, I got a certificate!

My last stop was a solo excursion to the Van Gogh Museum. Brenna and Karisma weren’t too enthusiastic about seeing it, but I’m super artsy, and Vinny V has always been a favorite of mine, so this was a must-see! So without delay, I steadied myself from all the Heineken I just drank, and walked in as-straight-a-line-as-possible across the museum campus to the modernist Van Gogh building.

While it was wonderful to examine some of his most famous works up close and personal, I was a bit disappointed that “Starry Night” was absent from the exhibits. Turns out that it is held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This sitation reminded me of how the Elgin Marbles were stolen from the Parthenon in Athens and moved to the British Museum in London. Ever since the Greece trip over fall break, I have questioned if pieces of art should be appreciated out of context, outside their place of origin. In this case, it doesn’t make sense to display the most famous Van Gogh painting anywhere else but in Van Gogh’s home country! I mean, New York doesn’t have trees like that, but Amsterdam sure does! And you can’t see the stars from all that Manhattan pollution, but in the Netherlands, the stars shine clear as day…or should I say, night.

“You should ask for it back,” I slurred to a museum tour guide, still tipsy from my Heineken adventure less than an hour ago. With a ladylike hiccup, I floated away from the museum to find my friends by the giant, red-and-white iAmsterdam sign.

Maybe they’ll listen. Then I can say I made a difference in Dutch Wonderland.

2016-11-18 15.56.48

Cramming it all into the last week

Cramming it all into the last week

This is my recap of the last week in China. Honestly, when I realized that I only had a week left, and still so much I needed to do, on top of all my finals … I decided I could do it all.

Finals for me weren’t that bad. As bad as writing almost 40 pages of papers can get. However, as a science major and test buff, it was nice to do away with the tests for awhile and really research some interesting topics such as how China marketed the olympics to the rest of the world.

Our adventure began with a trip on Friday to see yet another DJ duo, Blasterjaxx. I never expected to go to China and get to see 5 DJs/famous artists … and I surprised myself everytime but at least getting to the front if not even meeting them. My experience wouldn’t be complete had we not got to go backstage and meet half of Blasterjaxx  and get a picture with him(the other was sick). Also not going to miss how I got in free to almost everyone of the concerts because they only made guys pay.

Saturday, we spent visiting the Christmas Bazaar in one of the Hutongs, translated alley. It was a homey kind of feeling to see a Christmas atmosphere complete with pumpkin soup and chili.

Sunday, I went out to dinner at Capital M with my group of girl friends. Emma, Dorothy, Lana, and Kim were my biggest group of support in China, and my experience honestly would not have been the same without them. It’s amazing how sitting on the back of the bus for 13 days at the beginning of the semester can bring you together. The restaurant was right across the street from Tienanmen Square, giving way for the perfect girls night.Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 8.17.58 PM

Monday was a day for Qmex, our favorite americanized restaurant with half off deals on Burritos on Mondays. The burritos were huge, and while aren’t as good as Chipotle, for the western style food you can get in China, it was perfect.

Tuesday was our trip to the Olympic complex. Idk why I have an obsession with the Olympics, but I knew I could not leave China without at least setting foot in the places that people I idol such as Phelps had once stood.Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 8.17.41 PM

Wednesday was saved for last minute shopping and a dumpling party in my marketing class.

Thursday we went out for all you can eat buffet. It was bittersweet to have my last meal with a lot of my classmates 🙂

Friday was our closing ceremony! more in my next blog.

A Semester to Remember

A Semester to Remember

Oh wow, where do I begin? It’s so funny to go back and reread my first blog post and to see how scared I was. I remember those feelings of anxiety and fear, but they feel so far away. I read that and I don’t recognize the words. What I felt then and what I feel right now is so polar opposite.

How do I feel now? I feel sad, sad that I have to leave this beautiful country, sad I have to leave this school which is full of people I have grown to love, sad that I have to leave this culture and the Italian people who have shown me so much acceptance and warmth from the moment I stepped off the plane. Pure and utter sadness.

Yeah, the traveling was amazing, getting to explore places that I’ve only ever seen in pictures, places I never actually believed I would see with my own two eyes. However, what I have grown to love the most is the person I have become while I have been here. I have taken risks, I have traveled alone, I have made life-long friends with whom I share unforgettable memories. I have become a version of myself that I know the 13-year old me would look up to.

Younger me was afraid of the unknown and all that hid within it. She refused to stray from what was in front of her, no matter what lay on the path ahead. Once I got to college, I knew I needed to change, but I didn’t know how to go about doing that. And then studying abroad came to me, and I seized the opportunity with open arms, fully aware that I was diving right into that unknown that I have always been so afraid of.

And here I am, four months later and a complete different person. Someone who is happier, healthier, and above all, wiser. I am distraught that it is all over, but the passion for adventure and the drive to continue bettering myself will never end.

And now, a few of my favorite memories…

friends <3
ugh I miss you gelato


Duomo in Milan


I will be back soon Greece


Last night in Rome 🙁 so many emotions, but I am thankful for everyone in this photo (plus others!) who have shown me kindness, friendship, and love. I attribute much of my happiness to you all!


And with that, I am signing out. I hope you have enjoyed following my journey, and I hope I have inspired you in some way to seek your own adventures, whatever those may be. Do not let fear hold you back from finding happiness!

Arrivederci!!! <3 <3

Lizzie McGuire Would be Proud.

Lizzie McGuire Would be Proud.

The countdown is on for my final days in Rome. Thinking about returning home is bittersweet; I can’t wait to see my family, but I really enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Looking back, I’m so happy that I was able to have this opportunity. It fills me with so much joy to say that I was able to drop into another country for 4 months, learn a new language, complete school work, AND travel with friends.

Yesterday, the SLAs held a talk about transitioning back into America and ways to come back to Rome. They already started giving us recommendations of where to go for authentic Italian food in Chicago! Now that I know that the restaurant Eataly was created in Rome, I will definitely be making weekly trips after my Water Tower classes!

From the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you so much to my family, Loyola, and everyone else who allowed me to embark on this journey.

IMG_6876                            IMG_7561                   IMG_6167

One of the great joys of traveling through Italy is discovering firsthand that it is, indeed, a dream destination.”  – Debra Lavinson

Kong Hong

Kong Hong

Fun Fact: Hong Kong is the only known place on Earth where you can pronounce the name without moving your tongue and your lips.

Last weekend, my friends Kim and Henry and I ventured to Hong Kong for Kim’s birthday weekend and our second to last weekend in China (!!! What !!!). Lucky for us, we missed the weekend in Beijing where the pollution got above 500 and we got to escape the cold weather and we got to trade it in for 70+ degrees.

Stepping into the Hong Kong airport made me realize how much of an adjustment returning to the States is going to be. First of all, the money in Hong Kong was “dollars” though the exchange rate was more similar to the RMB. So it was a little unsettling to see lunch being sold for $180. Next, just having to adjust to meals being around $10-$20 US Dollars was also odd, because in Beijing I’m so used to getting food for around $3 a meal. AND, just the amount of foreigners was an unfamiliar sight because I’m so used to standing out and also banking on the fact that no one around me can really understand what I’m saying.

Hong Kong was a mix of Beijing and Shanghai in my opinion. Unlike Shanghai, it has been open for many years, allowing the city to develop and modernize at a normal rate. We stayed on the China mainland side, though we were about a 2 minute walk from the water and subsequently the ferry that took us across to Hong Kong Island.

Kim and I spent our first day wandering the mainland side where we ate huge baozi and went shopping before we met up with Henry and explored even more. Walking along and looking at the skyline of the Island is one of the most awe-dropping experiences I’ve ever had. A nice man we met told me that Hong Kong has even more skyscrapers (maybe even the most in the world) than Shanghai, and just to see everything all lit up but to smell the smells of the water was so relaxing. There was a light show that we stayed to watch, but contrary to the name, was just a mini movie on the side of the Cultural Center. Screen Shot 2016-12-10 at 5.20.07 PMScreen Shot 2016-12-10 at 5.19.57 PM

Saturday, or Kim’s Birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIM) was our big day. We woke up early to cross the river and headed to Victoria’s Peak. We took the tram up to the top, which is perhaps the steepest ride I think I’ve ever been on, but the view from the top were gorgeous. We then headed down to the entertainment district of the Island and got brunch before heading to the Ferris Wheel on the water where we got to see the sunset from within the cars (couldn’t have timed that better at all myself.) Kim and I ended our journey on a rooftop overlooking the city, which we have made it our mission to do in any city. IMG_5002Screen Shot 2016-12-10 at 5.19.46 PM

Sunday, our last day was spent eating Dim Sum and one of the better known Chains of Hong Kong (the line was over an hour long and they made you fill our your order in line so that they could get people in and out very fast).

I do have to say, Hong Kong airlines was one of the nicest ones I’ve been on. Besides giving me a tasty gluten free meal, which if you know me you know I’m weird about food, they also had tvs with remote controls that had a video game controller on the back. After all our crazy travel experiences, it was nice to end it on a nice note.