Although we will be living in the Netherlands for a few more weeks, I just took a quick trip to Hong Kong in order to organize parts of our upcoming move and to see a few wonderful departing friends. I enjoyed every moment of my long weekend, but now I find myself not only jet-lagged, but also expat-transition-lagged.
Let me explain.
On arrival in Hong Kong last Thursday, I took off my thick sweater, gazed at the mountain-framed skyline, eavesdropped on a bit of Chinese and, in an instant, the Europe-Asia switch in my head was flung over to the Asia-side and I was in love with Hong Kong all over again.
I proceeded to spend the weekend doing the exact same things I did one year ago when I was saying goodbye to Hong Kong: hiking, riding the Star Ferry, eating dim sum, going out on a junk boat trip and running my old running route. It was all fantastic.
Then I returned to the Netherlands yesterday, put my thick sweater back on, watched a swarm of bikes on a cobblestone street, overheard someone chatting about the weather in Dutch, and the toggle switch flipped back to the Europe-side and I blinked back a tear at the thought of leaving Utrecht.
So, as I stumble through my Hong Kong pre-move preparations and Utrecht goodbyes, my Europe-Asia toggle switch will be flickering like crazy, my heart and mind will be as confused as ever, and I’ll be a mis-mash of happy, sad, excited and sentimental, but I’ll mostly feel grateful that I have the chance to experience it all.