Connie Hum from ConnVoyage is quite an inspiration. In 2009, she gave up everything and fled her cozy life in Manhattan to explore the world at large, currently living the expat life in Hong Kong. Here, she tells us about some of the best and worst times on the road and what traveling has shown her.
GGG: What’s your story? Where are you from and where are you now?
CH: My name is Connie and I’m currently living and working in Hong Kong as an English teacher. I left my fabulous Manhattan apartment and job with a management consulting company in New York City way back in 2009 to travel the world and volunteer while I experienced the world around me.
GGG: What was it that finally inspired you to take the leap and travel?
CH: The idea of leaving New York City was on my mind for at least a year before I actually left the city. The biggest factor in my decision I think was the fact that I just got bored with my work. I wanted to be challenged more and I wanted to be giving back to the world as a whole. I finally decided to just take the leap and DO IT with the support from all my incredible friends.
GGG: Awesome! Where did you go first? Where have you been since?
CH: After I left New York City in 2009, I moved to Istanbul for about seven months to teach private English lessons. It was a fabulous experience and I really lost my heart to Istanbul! I honestly felt so comfortable and at home there! Since then, I’ve sailed in the Mediterranean on a private yacht, slept in a Bedouin cave in the mountains of Petra, belly-danced my way through Cairo, danced with young Buddhist monks in Burma, learned the art of Vipassana meditation in an ashram in India, trekked the Himalayan mountain range in Nepal, sunbathed in the gorgeous beaches of Thailand, volunteered with Burmese migrant workers, survived long and bumpy Cambodia bus rides, wore a python around my neck in Vietnam, and most recently, expatriated myself to Hong Kong for a temporary “breather.”
GGG: Wow, look at you go! What was the hardest part of leaving to travel?
CH: Oh, DEFINITELY saying goodbye to your loved one! You understand that you will see them again at some point, but it’s still difficult to know that you won’t be able to see them face-to-face for what can be a really long time.
GGG: And what’s the best part?
CH: All the amazing people you’re bound to meet on the road and all the amazing adventures you’re about to experience!
GGG: Any romance on the road? What do you think–can it work?
CH: Hmm, I do have a blog series called “Love Story” that addresses this very topic. Let’s just say that my answer is a resounding YES!
GGG: What’s the best tip you’d give to girls preparing to hit the road on their own?
CH: Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to whatever opportunity may come your way! Traveling on your own can be scary at times (I know, I’ve done it many times before) but every time that I’ve trusted my gut and allowed myself to follow it, I was rewarded with unforgettable experiences. In fact, many I would count as my favorite memories!
GGG: Fill in the blanks!
GGG: My last near death experience involved_______.
CH: scuba diving, 15 meters of water above me and a regulator that decided to stop working. I honestly saw flashes of bright, white light! It was absolutely terrifying!
GGG: My bucket list includes the following three things: _________
CH: 1. Volunteering with elephants (most likely at the Elephant Nature Foundation in Thailand), 2. Scuba dive with whale sharks in Djibouti, and 3. learn to cook Burmese food from my mother. For my full bucket list, go here: http://connvoyage.blogspot.com/p/bucket-list.html
GGG: Above all else, travel has taught me _________.
CH: Above all else, travel has taught me: how amazing this world really is and THAT is so inspiring to me! It makes me want to do my best to contribute as positively to this world as I can.