I’ve always been intrigued by far of places, travel, adventure, and different cultures. As a kid, I’d read atlases, and study maps from all over the world, dreaming about all of those different places that existed on the planet.

Never did I think I’d have the opportunity to explore so many of them. As I turned 30, I had visited 45 different countries and most of the states in the US. I’d flown and traveled more than most people or even groups of people can in a lifetime. I’d done it all in the short ten years of my adult life. Travel was addicting to me, the more I explored, the more I wanted.

I’d done well in high school to get scholarships, and did well in college to get an internship, and did well at that to get a career, got a career to buy a house, etc. It was all so planned out and had gone perfectly to plan. Deep down I knew there was something more, something else I had to do.

It took me awhile to figure out what exactly I needed to do, and awhile to gain the courage and experience to do it. Of course, as with everything, I had to have a plan. For three years I saved to pay off student loans, other debt and saved enough to give myself a cushion if needed when I made my big jump.

The decision was made, I’d saved, planned; I was going to run away. Not from anything, I was very grateful for everything about my current life and lived it to the fullest. I had a great job, very comfortable life, the opportunity for travel, great family, fantastic friends; it was all really great, nothing to run from. I was going to run to something; something I knew was out there, waiting for me. I gave notice to work, took care of my house, situated my finances, and found a flight to the other side of the world.

I was taking my life on a grand adventure! I wanted to live and really experience many of the places that I had been lucky enough to travel, and explore new places. I felt like I was missing so much by visiting places a week here and a week there on my time off, it was time to really dive into a few locations around the world. Submerge into the culture, the language, the food, everything that made that place unique. What I really wanted to do was “live” in all of these places.

The first stop on the adventure is Hong Kong! I’d visited Hong Kong a few times already, and was in love with the energy the city embodied. There was something about the skyline of high-rises, mountains, bay, harbor, so much movement, I had to  join in on the excitement. I liked the lights, people, outdoor opportunities, development, food, and overall excitement that came with the city. It was in a lot of ways a perfect balance of everything I wanted to explore. This is the city where East meets West. It is very exotic, and very Chinese, but very Western at the same time. It is also one of the most densely populated cities on the planet, and I’ve never lived in a city. There is also a yin to that yang, the population is very compact in Hong Kong, and covers only about 40 percent of the land, the other 60 percent of the land is preserved in parks. While you can be enjoying everything a major global city has to offer, you are never too far from the outdoors; hiking, running, beaches.

I’ve been in Hong Kong for two weeks and am loving every minute of my adventure. I can’t wait to further explore the city, learn about the local culture, the world, and learn more about myself in the process.