Last November, I spent six days in Hong Kong and it was an overwhelming whirlwind of familiarity, unfamiliarity, reflection and thankfulness. Hong Kong is strange place for me – at once both a solid, objective location and a somewhat ephemeral concept enshrined in my memory.
Of course, I love the vibrancy of the culture, the cityscape, the juxtaposition of ‘east’ and ‘west’, the mountains, the forests, the traditional and the modern. The food is brilliant, the constant liveliness invigorating. But on a deeper level, I’ve always been stirred by an unshakeable sense that I truly do have roots there despite having been born in Sydney.
Taking place six years after my last trip to Hong Kong, this stay was a beautiful chorus of infrequently seen family, friends and places, laced with an unexpected sense of home and the profound joy of discovering more and more of where I came from. As Dickson and I spent hours with my grandmother in the heart of Causeway Bay, looking into her bright, compassionate eyes and listening to the steady croon of her voice, I was struck by just how much can be both fractured and strengthened by a migratory journey. We caught glimpses of my parents’ childhoods and chapters of stories forming a history not yet fully unravelled.
The rhythm of life in Hong Kong has somehow always felt blearily familiar and I sometimes can’t tell if my recognition is true or imagined, but it doesn’t really matter either way. Sitting with these thoughts and emotions, feeling them deeply and sharing them with my fiancé has been an incredible reminder of what it is to yearn for home, to yearn for roots and ultimately, to be fully human.