Even after sixteen hours of not sleeping, entering the bright and sleek Hong Kong airport felt like waking up. At the Hong Kong airport I thought I’d have 4.5 hours to spare until my connecting flight to Chiang Mai, but after frantically trying and failing to get the wi-fi to work on my phone and not knowing I was supposed to fill out a form for Hong Kong Customs – thereby getting cut in the customs line by a giant group of tourists – by the time I checked in for the connecting flight I had only a little over 3 hours to spare.
While waiting to board my 16 hour flight to Hong Kong, I was thinking more about my past than about the amazing things to come in the next 70 days. After hugging my parents goodbye and painlessly making my way to the gate, I drafted thank you notes to my former coworkers and bosses that I planned to write on stationery from Thailand, and berated myself for once again, as on every flight, forgetting my earphones and needing to buy new ones from the overpriced airport store. I didn’t even try to imagine what my life would be like after flying halfway around the world.