Traveling is good for both physical and mental. I flew back to Hong Kong last month to attend a family member’s funeral service. Though losing a relative is tough, the bittersweet is that I have another opportunity to gather with my family and closed friends.

Like last time, I went by myself (mainly because my hubby is too busy to company).

My mentor always said “you have to advertise to the employers that you survive in US all by yourself with no family around!” Interestingly though…I didn’t realize the normality of lunching with your best friends and/or booking tables for dinner with family members till I was in Hong Kong. The feeling of being surrounded by familiar faces, especially those whom you are so closed to, struck me every day when I was home (HK). People meet up with their friends after work. Family members check in each other regularly. And when there is tragedy or celebration, family and friends come to you….

That’s how people live! I guess I miss out a lot, ever since my husband and I came here as an exchange student 20+ years ago. We built our career, we each find our way to expand our network, we gain our footing in this foreign land all by ourselves. It is uneasy but I think we did it well.

But, we only have each other….

Not saying we don’t have friends and long distance relatives (only his, not mine) in US, yet, I started to wonder if I have become too dependent on my husband, the only ‘family member’ I have here in US.

When I read about how other women recovered from miscarriages / child birth drama, they often mention about their parents, relatives, closed friends and how they came together to ease the pain…I begin to wonder what my life would be if I didn’t leave for US 20 years ago. What would I do if I chose to stay in Hong Kong back in 1998? What kind of clothes would I be wearing? How would I look? What would I be doing for living? Would I live with my parents? Would I even be close to my family at all?

I remember a year prior to becoming an exchange student in Alabama, I created a little ‘plan b’ for myself. I called it an alternative path in case I did not get accepted by any US college. The plan would be returning to Hong Kong and to attend The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, potentially majoring in Drama / Directing. I also planned to stay close with my boss and producers at RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong) for job opportunities. Now I look back, I have to praise the 17-year-old me for her dedication. I know it wasn’t easy at all and yet, she knew best.

I know deep down, it would be a good plan. Drama has always been my passion since grade school. I spent more time screen writing and directing plays than studying. I was on the stage every day; I would argue with my best friends for every details about the story line. Even when I attended high school in Florida, I joined the forensics team to interpret poems and to perform on stage. It was liberating and fun. I knew my ‘plan b’ would still work if I had to come ‘home’.

As you already knew, I ended up continuing my education in US and the rest is history.

I was riding the subway in Hong Kong the other day and I was trying to imagine what kind of person would I become if the history was rewritten. This is what I know for sure:

I would be looking down on my phone the entire time and minding my own business while riding the subway.

I would be in some trendy clothes, although it might look odd to some people.

I would probably living by myself in a tiny apartment or renting it with a closed friend.

I would be producing, directing and acting days and nights and skipped most of the family events.

I might meet a lot of friends through work but never become close.

I would not rest.

I would travel a lot and not saving much money.

I would be drinking a lot, although I can’t tolerate alcohol well.

I would go protest (if I have time).

I would stay single because I didn’t meet Jackson, my husband.

Therefore, I would feel incomplete because of that =)

Hong Kong