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The gymnasium has already been swept up after Pre-K graduation. The teachers are breathing a sigh of relaxation. And I’m reflecting on this last year living in Hong Kong as a single parent.
There’s much to reflect about in terms of my personal growth, business development, and physical fitness and health. But, since this is a single dad blog, I will focus this post on how my little family changed over this past year.
My Relationship With My Daughter Improved
Before we came to Hong Kong, she was struggling with sleeping a full night’s sleep. As a single dad, I was dealing with this by myself and it was really wearing me down.
My muscle tone was depleted, I was always tired, and as a result of my poor physique and tired mind and body, I was short with my daughter when she was whiny or in tantrum mode (which happens often enough that I was feeling like a pretty crappy parent at times).
Now, one of the first things you might notice if you ever move to Hong Kong, is that your living environment is probably going to be much smaller than what you’re used to if you’re coming from the United States like me. Like 1000 times smaller.
If you know me, however, you know I don’t mind living in a small place .
And this time, I’ve found that it helped improve my relationship with my daughter.
Our small room in Hong Kong keeps us physically close, but we’ve also grown closer emotionally as she’s had the freedom to wake up in the middle of the night and sneak into my bed without waking me up.
No creaking doors, no squeaky floors, she just shimmies to the foot of her own bed, one-steps the gap to my bed, and crawls up next to me (or so I assume!).
Sometimes she wakes me up by accident, but even so, single parent travel has been awesome with my daughter.
Since I’m physically close to her all the time, I’m also more keenly aware of her emotional state. I’ve been preventing tantrums as a result of seeing their onset early on and guiding her away from them.
If you’re used to living in a big home and having lots of space to separate yourself from people, you might be surprised–like I am–to find that living in a small place can vastly improve the relationships in your life.
My Daughter Speaks a Language I Don’t Understand
Yup, you read that right. I have a 5-year-old who not only speaks a language I don’t understand, she also makes fun of me for not speaking it!
She’s just kidding with me, of course, and I love that she is speaking Cantonese!
Seeing her speak with her Chinese grandma and grandpa–in their language–fills my heart, and I’m so proud of her for wildly exceeding my expectations in her language development.
Living in Hong Kong Has Made Us HUNGRY For More
Auburn and I have lived in Colombia, Thailand, Vietnam, USA, and of course we’ve spent time living in Hong Kong. Each place has given us a new perspective on life and encourages us to keep learning.
Now, after our year in Hong Kong, and despite the awesome outcomes we’ve achieved here, we are ready to escape the noise and hustle of the big city.
We both are yearning for consistently fresh air, easy access to the sea, and cheap, healthy food.
That’s why I am ready to reveal to you where we are headed in just one week: Koh Tao, Thailand !
Of course, we’ve lived there before and it’s part of the reason we are going back. I love it there!
The school she goes to is awesome, the food is incredible, and I feel so healthy while I’m there.
In fact, I’ll take a before and after picture of my body, I won’t change my exercise routine at all, and I guarantee you that I will lose at least 8 pounds of fat–that I’ve gained living in Hong Kong and eating so much oily food–just from the diet we’ll be on.
It’s a wonderful place. And that’s why we’re headed back for the next three months! I’m ready for more of this single-parent adventure travel!
Do you want to travel with your children one day? Let me know in the comments!
6 thoughts on “A Year in Hong Kong in Review: A Single Dad’s Perspective”
Lacy Estelle says:
This is really impressive. I’ve wanted to travel with my children, or even move with my children as a single parent but afraid I have too much red tape to cut throught with their other parent. But Kudos, this is awesome!
I understand that. I, thankfully, was granted full legal and physical custody of my daughter so I don’t need to worry so much about the red tape. But don’t let the dream die! 😛
I’m a traveling single parent as well! But I’m US based and take my daughter on many trips with me. Most recently we had 2.5 weeks in Japan and 4 weeks in Barcelona. We’ll be in HongKong at the end of the year and Singapore in April. I’ll check out your instagram page for kids friendly ideas for HK. Good luck with this adventure – what an amazing experience for both you and your daughter.
Hey Gwenyth! I hope you have an awesome time in Hong Kong! The Science Museum there is great for kids (and us adults)!
I have just found your facebook page/blog and have been reading it whenever I have the chance…thoroughly entertaining and makes me literally laugh out loud. Being so impassioned by travel since I was young, I have been missing it. I’ve been reading travel blogs for a few years now and pretty much dreaming of the day that I can put it all in motion. I wouldn’t be even remotely fearful having a ‘regular kid’ but my daughter has DS & Autism, is non-verbal and incontinent. She has some behavioural issues that make it a challenge. So I have been living vicariously through the travel lives of others.
Thank you for being so real & sharing your life story (the good and not so great). I wanted to just let you know that you stated that most of us are average…that may be true but please don’t shortchange yourself, the depth of soul, kindness and introspection that you show here are certainly far from average. Looking forward to many more posts.
That’s extremely nice of you to say, and I applaud your efforts as a parent. 🙂 I think we all just do what we can with what we’ve got, and you’re doing great. Thanks for reading my posts 🙂