Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Friday, October 23, 2015

so i flew over the north pole

This is actually not a picture of the North Pole. This is Siberia. I flew from Dallas to Hong Kong, and that takes you over the North Pole! Unfortunately, it was still a bit dark and a little bit cloudy so those pictures are a little uninspiring. I did think this snow-covered mountainous bit of Siberia was quite inspiring though.

I was recently selected by the CFA Society of Mississippi to represent the board (with one other board member) at the CFA Institute Society Leadership Conference. Each year this rotates between America, Europe and Asia. This year it was in Hong Kong. The institute covers travel and hotel, so of course I took advantage! It was somewhere along this 16 hour 40 minute flight that I realized why nobody else volunteered too quickly for the conference.

I loved the city. It felt like a combination of London and New York with some amazing Chinese food. The city is very international, so there was something for everyone, and I never felt out of place. I have not really figured out how to write about my short time there, so this post will cover the places briefly.

After dinner in Hong Kong one night, I looked up to find myself in the middle of a giant lights show. The skyscrapers around me were all lit up and flashing different light patterns around. The HSBC tower had crazy patterns that turned into their logo. A tower across the bay actually featured a horse galloping around it!

By day, Hong Kong was a fascinating juxtaposition of a big city pressed up against mountains sprinkled with rain forest. There were old buildings in poor shape nestled in with new glass and steel structures. The downtown was a big city with the feel of Manhattan. The smaller areas and Kowloon side were more like London or Brooklyn - lower buildings and a little more laid back.

It was highly recommended to me that I do some hiking in Hong Kong. After asking around, I figured that the Dragon's Back trail would be the best. This was a trail along a mountain ridge to the south of the Hong Kong island. It started off climbing stairs up the mountain. As you may imagine, this is a lot of stairs. Once on top, it was a well worn trail through a typical rain forest. The forest was gorgeous and mostly quiet, punctuated by the occasional stream, curious birds and even a monkey foraging just off the trail!

The hike was along this ridge. It was a narrow part of the island. Hong Kong proper is far away beyond some mountains on the left of the picture.

The destination of the hike! Shek-O Beach

Hong Kong was an amazing city to visit. It had everything that you could want to visit and so much that I left unexplored. After a week of walking over 10 miles a day and taking several more on the subway, I was exhausted and ready for home. Fortunately, the flight back was *slightly* shorter than the way over...