So I've been promising photos for quite some time now, but perhaps this is not quite the direction most would suspect that to come. Over the past weekend I've been rather obsessively going through all my old photos. From looking at my scrapbooks, to downloading every photo CD I could find onto my external hard drive, I've been inundated with images of the past.
I remember back before my ten year high school reunion, thinking how I might look a bit lacking in the life accomplishments department. I had no husband, and therefore no children (truth be told, I still hadn't even had a boyfriend) no career, no life savings, and no life plan laid out. I had that uncomfortable feeling that people might look at me as a bit of a flake. I hadn't gone out and done any of the things I'd said I would do. In the letter I wrote to myself as a senior in high school, mailed to me five years later by my Senior Soc teacher, I'd demanded that I make something of myself. I was to be in a committed relationship, have at least one book published, and still be in perfect contact with all the people who meant something to me when I was 18. By 28 I'd managed to get a degree in English, live in two countries and three or four different states. I'd had countless jobs that either didn't amount to much or pay much. I was on my way to a teaching job in the Czech Republic where I was, once again, going to make peanuts. But what I did have, that few other people were likely to possess, were thousands of pictures from all over Asia. I've now added thousands of pictures from all over Europe, and more international experiences than most people who are not involved in international business or independently wealthy.
It's easy for me to just think of my life as normal, because for me, it is. Yesterday, my sister commented on how I've lived a "vacation lifestyle." I wouldn't exactly call it that. I've worked really hard, and generally for a pittance if anything at all. But I've been phenomenally blessed to see the world on a budget that would make most people believe that traveling across the state would be pushing it. God built me with the travel bug, and has helped me live the dream.
So now, without further blabbing, I'm going to take you on a brief journey through past travels. Despite the hundreds of pictures from Hong Kong that I downloaded on my computer (most of them being from other people because I didn't have a functioning digital camera a lot of my time there) I have even more in hard copy form, so this really will be just a glimpse of that world. Enjoy.
Hong Kong Really is the city of life. I just adore the skyline.
The "Bowen Girls" made their way to Hong Kong from around the world. I was so blessed by these amazing women, as well as the Chinese staff. What wonderful, beautiful, and incredibly fun people. They helped to open my eyes to cultures from all over the place, and the joy of expanding your experiences and horizons.
And of course there was also the amazing local staff. This is from a wedding of one of my Chinese colleagues Karen.
And then there was 180 and the Vine. A place where I grew in my spiritual life, and developed a greater appreciation for the variations of backgrounds and personalities in the family of God.
And last on the whirlwind tour, the reason I came to Hong Kong in the first place, the babies who gave my life new meaning and who I was privileged to lavish love on.
It's been more than six years now since I left Hong Kong. Hard to believe how quickly it has gone, and how it still feels so close to my heart. I have no idea when I'll have a chance to return again, but the City of Life will always be in my blood.