It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’ve jetted off yet again to another country. I’m doing my last big trip before heading home, but the past few days have been much, much different than the way things have been for the past few months.


1. It’s safe to say that I’m tired. Travelling has been an incredible experience, but going to 5-hour classes Monday through Friday, dragging my luggage to school so I can head to the airport as soon as the weekend hits, and then jam-packing an entire city or even multiple cities into 3-4 days has been overwhelming and leaves me hungover in more ways than one. So it’s been about time that I took a real, down-to-earth vacation and found some rest in the midst of trying to see all of Europe in 3 months.


2. Three days ago, we packed our bags and got on a plane to Lisbon. But before hitting up the big city, we decided to rent a car and road trip to a small surf village called Ericeira. We stayed in an Airbnb facing the ocean, slept in till whenever we wanted, and spent a lot of time relaxing. The first night, our power went out, so we ate a home-cooked dinner by candlelight, wrapped ourselves up in blankets, and drank hot tea. It was the coziest I have been for a long time.


3. Ericeira is evidently a summer town, so during our stay there, it felt absolutely deserted. Despite that, it was still nice to wander the sleepy streets and crooked pathways. A lot of the houses had pure white walls with colourful detailing (kinda how I imagine Greece looks like); others were patterned like ceramic dishes. It was such a quiet, but beautiful place to be.


4. After walking through the Old City, we spent the rest of our afternoon driving along the coast and beach-hopping. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a car, and I forgot how much I love road tripping. There is something different about getting into a car with a bunch of people you love, turning up the music, and going your own way through the countryside. It offers a different perspective of a place, and you have so much more control over where and when you want to go, stay, stop, and leave. We stopped at multiple beaches, climbed a lot of stairs, and watched surfers dance through the waves. I’m always amazed at how brave they are when the waters are freezing and the ocean can be such an unpredictable force.



5. This morning we drove north along the coast to watch waves in Nazaré. Apparently, the waves there get up to 30 meters high!!! The tide wasn’t that crazy when we were there, but we were up on the cliffs and we could still feel the ocean spray on our skin. Again, the little village was dead silent, but I think the raging waters made up for it in movement and noise.

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Cheung Chau Island








To the adventurous souls of Hong Kong –

Go to Cheung Chau Island. Take the slow ferry (it’s cheaper and you see more when you take your time). Go with someone who has steady feet and a lion heart. Hike up to the Reclining Rock and find the hidden beach. Touch the ocean. Crawl into caves and look for treasure (but make sure you bring a flashlight). Go beyond the boundaries – they are there to be crossed. Share your heart on top of a mountain. If you get bug bites and cactus needles in your legs, it’s okay, you will live. If you find yourself in a den of spiders, it’s okay, you will live through that too. Eat at dingy diners and then go out and eat more at street food vendors (make sure you try fish balls and mango mochi). Ride bikes and remember that nothing else can replicate salty sea breeze. Drink iced coffees at the Rainbow Cafe, write down your dreams, and post them on the wall. Watch the sun set.

Thank you for showing me that Hong Kong is not a cement block – that there are parts still untouched by industrialization, that the Old Hong Kong my father knows still lives on somewhere, and that there are old ladies who shout blessings of good health over you as you walk away.