Final Thoughts

Trip Start Aug 20, 2004
Trip End Aug 28, 2005

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Overall it was a great trip. I saw some amazing historical places in China and the beautiful Li River, found a big city that I actually like in Hong Kong, met many interesting people, and traveled from the idyllic beaches in the south Philippines to the wondrous rice terraces in the north. I highly recommend Hong Kong to anyone and the diversity in the Philippines, as well as the friendliness of its people, is unparalleled.

Random thoughts:

Post cards and CDs: After having sent out so many postcards and some picture CDs and realizing just how much time and effort and money it takes I'm really gonna shorten my mailing list for two reasons: 1) only a very few people even let me know that they received them, which is really nice to hear b/c often the countries I send them from don't have the greatest postal systems, so its nice to know, and 2) few people seem to appreciate it and though I don't do it for appreciation, as I said it does take a lot of time and money, so that list will be greatly pared down for my future travels. {hopefully no one takes this personally as it wasnt written about anyone specific, but more as a general observation}

Hong Kong & China: Technically, HK is part of China, but as anyone who's ever been there can testify, Hong Kong is NOT part of China in reality! Many Chinese people would be really mad at this statement and they feel really strongly about it, but then again most have never been to HK because they aren't allowed! Everything is different there - the money and economy, the government and politics, the language and daily life, its moderness and cleanliness and mannerisms, plus the simple fact that very few people in HK would even say they're Chinese speaks volumes.

Traveling alone: Like most things, it has its good and bad points. Obviously its more fun traveling with others - its more social in one aspect, its more economical b/c you can share room and taxi costs, it's nice to not always have to decide what to do and sometimes just follow, etc. On the other hand, I believe you definitely meet more people traveling alone and I also believe that it's a great experience - you really learn a lot about yourself, your limits and level of patience, your social behaviors, your ability to adapt to places and situations. I think everyone should travel a bit by themselves b/c you're really put in some situations that test who you are and how you respond; maybe you wouldn't learn these things normally b/c these are situations that you don't come across in daily life.
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