But several things that happened to friends / acquaintances recently really put things in perspective - don't put off to another day, what you could do while you have the time and ability.
So here's my attempt at retelling one of my favorite travel experiences ever.
When describing Hong Kong to people who have never been, I usually find it easiest to compare it to NYC - in terms of being beyond-fast-paced, gorgeous skyline, incredible dining, packed so solid with people that you can easily develop pedestrian rage. But with a lot more Asians. And of course the meeting of two predominant and vastly different cultures - where relics of tradition can exist side-by-side with glossy icons of modernity and ostentatious capitalism.
But there was a hidden gem that I hadn't experienced until my most recent visit - a fishing village just under two hours outside the city center, often referred to as the "Venice of Hong Kong".
The incredible find, and value, aside - what I also loved about Tai O was that the authenticity. These vendors are not cast members hired to evoke an untouched, idyllic fishing village. They actually live here - most upstairs from their food stall - and they are clearly proud of their village and their way of life. They have tourists coming through, yes, but if that business is a necessary means to sustain their way of life - so be it.
Definitely one of my favorite travel experiences of all time - and not sure if it will still be the same next time I'm back. (I read recently that real estate developers are setting their sights there, and a government ban on commercial fishing has pushed villagers to seek other means of income which further erode their traditional, nature driven way of life.) I hope so, and I hope that the bottarga, hibachi and the villagers' untainted ways will be there waiting for us for many years to come.
Tai O fishing village
Lantau Island, Hong Kong
How to get there: MTR Tung Chung + cable car and/or bus or taxi