home of the brave

My grandfather always warned me if I dug too deeply, I’d end up in China. According to my map, he was off by an inch. In a few whirlwind weeks, my family is digging deep and uprooting our lives to Hong Kong. Certainly, given my husband’s globally far-reaching employer, we always assumed we would live abroad at some point in our lives. I was imagining high tea in London. The Sound of Music in Salzburg. But Hong Kong?

When we told our children, our oldest child’s first exclamation was almost exactly like the one initially living in my own head. ‘Are you crazy?!’ he quized us, over and over and over again. After a quick holiday to research schools and fancy homes, he has stopped questioning our mental health. Are we crazy? Probably. But I’ve found the most grandest of plans always begin with a belly full of butterflies.

I’ve been so caught up in all the requirements; passports, medical exams, school records, rentals, banking, cars, packing, packing, and more packing… that my tears totally caught me off guard when I noticed the Washington DC license plate in front of me at the red light.

Must. Stop. Crying. But it’s breaking my heart to leave everything we know and love: family, friends, school, doctors, our home…our country.

For the last eighteen months, we’ve lived a metro jaunt away from our nation’s capital. The land of the free and the home of the brave. We were warned not to take it for granted, and we were so good and so proud and so appreciative at first. We visited the White House for Christmas, the Capital , all of the Smithsonians, the monuments, the earthquake stricken National Cathedral…

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And then slowly it occurred. We forgot that not everyone in this great land lives one hour away from the White House. We stopped appreciating that not everyone has their local news reporting on a UFO-looking object on highway, with follow-up reporting that it’s simply a drone being transported. The country’s national news IS our local news. You start to hear it every day and become numb to it. It happens. It happened.

And in the blink of an eye, it’s gone. We’re off to Hong Kong. But really, isn’t that the best part of this country? We are afforded the luxury and the freedom of leaving and exploring other lands and their cultures, with the promise that we can always come home. Our freedoms still intact. Our place among the brave and the free still there.

The next time I write, my night will be your day and I will be eating noodles with chopsticks for breakfast and I might not be as crazy about Hello, Kitty as I was a few months ago. But rest assured, I will always be crazy. Crazy about this country of ours, and missing her like mad already.


<originally posted at www.livesigmakappa.com>


  1. Found you via Design Mom. Having lived in HK for nigh on 30 years (now relocated to the Welsh countryside), I wish you luck. It's a great, exciting, teeming metropolis, but there are plenty of quiet corners to escape the crowds. I am sure you and your family will love it as much as we did.

  2. I moved to hong kong from the states as a teenager and loved it (and still do)- the schools there are incredible (and full of amazing opportunities for learning and growing outside the box! I went to HKIS) and you virtually never run out of places to explore, My favorite thing is coming up in September- mid-autumn or moon festival so beautiful and fun. At some point you have to try to make it over to the flower and bird market- my favorite place in the city! I hope you enjoy it over there, I miss it all the time!

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