28 Hours in Hong Kong

Last week, I took a flight that had a 15 hour layover in the Hong Kong International Airport. As I entered the airport after a 6 hour flight from Mumbai, I had a list of things in my mind that I could do in those 15 hours : sleep, read my book, buy a journal, FaceTime my friends and parents, and walk around if I was bored out of my mind.

After spending the majority of those 7 hours napping on top of my backpack, I decided to walk to the help desk to find out which gate my flight was on (they announce the gates 2 hours before the flight, and I had 8 hours left). I took another look at the screen, after a long nap, to see the flights and to my horror I saw that 90% of the flights on that screen had CANCELLED written next to them in bright red. ‘What’s going on?’ I thought to myself. I was aware that there were protests going on the week before but I never suspected that the situation would get this bad.

So I walked to the help desk and asked the lady about my flight to San Francisco and she said in the most casual tone ever “Oh yeah, your flight’s been cancelled.”


Now, I am a 17 year old teenage girl who’s travelling alone for the second time in my whole life. I’ve never been to the Hong Kong airport, my mom books my flights, and I have absolutely no idea what I’m supposed to do in this situation.

So the first thing I do is call my mom since she booked my tickets and would tell me what I should do now. But she lives in California and is obviously sleeping right now (It was 2am in California when I called her). So I call my dad, and he obviously freaks and goes on about how I should’ve taken a different flight and how he knew the protests would create a problem and this and that and “DAD CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD DO NOW?”. I’m stranded at this airport, I can’t leave because I don’t have a Hong Kong Visa, literally all the flights are cancelled, the restaurants and stores at the airport are getting shut, people are lining up at 7 Eleven to get water and food in case things get even worse later. Seriously, I think to myself, I should have taken a different flight.

So now it’s decided that I’m going to spend the entire night stranded at the HKI airport and I prepare myself by buying all the snacks you won’t find outside Hong Kong, the biggest water bottle I could see, and a portable charger because I literally couldn’t find any charging spots at the airport.

I slept for a total of 2 hours that night; most of the night was spent listening to a lot of music, walking around, and looking at the announcement screen to see that most of the flights were still cancelled and the situation was clearly not improving.

I called my mom a good amount of times that night and she said that I would be able to catch a flight by 6am and that everything would be okay, but it wasn’t until 9am that my mom finally called me and told me that she’s rescheduled a flight that leaves within two hours. At this point I’d been standing in the longest queue that I’ve ever been part of for literally close to two hours and I was exhausted.

Luckily I got on my flight after spending another hour in line to check in, crying because the lady at the desk said she wouldn’t give me my boarding pass because my luggage was going to be sent by another airline (she literally gave my boarding pass because I freaked and started crying in front of everyone. You best believe I wasn’t going to spend another minute on that airport let alone wait for a whole day to catch another flight), and actually running to my gate because of the delay. I mean, I was literally sprinting across the airport with my bright neon pink VS bag and all these papers in my hand. I must’ve been a sight to see.

Overall, my experience was pretty crazy but it was also a lot of fun. I was so thankful to have entered that plane and spent the next 8 hours completely knocked out on my seat. I absolutely love being independent and I love to travel by myself (this was like my second time, but still, I mean I like being on my own) and I think I handled myself pretty well, excluding my mental breakdown at the check-in counter. Also, I saw a bunch of cool people, slept on the floor – it’s no wonder I only slept for 2 hours that night – and listened to some really good music the whole time I was there.

Perfectionists Are Weak

It’s a Monday morning and my mind is racing with everything that needs to be within the next 24 hours. I look over my diary and check the ‘rules’ I have set up for the day: wake up at 5, don’t use your phone for the next 2 hours, get started on your class-work immediately, and most importantly – rest only when you’ve finished a week’s worth of homework.

This was a typical start to my week when I was in 11th grade. Every single day I woke up as early as I could, slept until my body gave in to the exhaustion, and spent every single minute of my spare time reading books for my literature class. Literally. I read Henrik Ibsen during 10 minute car rides.

A normal weekday in my life involved waking up at 5am to do math, going to school and using every single free class I had to study in the library, spending 4 hours after school at the golf club (doing some sort of physical activity), and coming back home only to pour over my school notes again.

Now typically you’d want to be doing the things I was doing and you’d find my hard work commendable. From afar, I was doing well at school, performing ably at golf, I was “healthy” and “spending my time constructively“. But deep down, I was miserable.

I was hardly ever going out with my friends on the weekends, every free lecture spent mingling usually ended with a guilt trip. Basically my social life was close to non-existent and I was tired all the time. Soon enough, the weariness on my face was seen, first, by my dad and then quickly by my teachers at school.

On one occasion, during the aquatic meet at school, I burst out crying for no apparent reason (it was stress, as I now know it). Everyone around me consoled me, I was taken to the infirmary immediately, my dad was called and I was asked to go home and rest. The next week consisted of wretched days curled up in bed, unable to move, tired, sick, and depressed.

I knew I needed to change then.

I now know that I was suffering from a severe case of being a perfectionist, and over the months, I have learnt a great deal about taking time for myself and not going ballistic about every single minute that I spend on social media, meeting friends, or doing anything besides schoolwork.

It’s essential to work towards living a balanced lifestyle making time for work, friends, family, and setting goals that focus on aspects that are physical, mental, and spiritual.

I learnt this the hard way by going through a complete burn out. I’m much better today and I’m aware that setting unrealistic goals is going to do more harm than good. Instead, I focus on being productive and getting work done in a timely matter so that I can focus first on being happy and calm, instead of being frantic, dispirited and totally worn out.

My Self Care Journey

Last year, I was stuck in a major rut. 2018 was the year where I dedicated myself wholly to recovery from anorexia. I went to nutritionists, got a meal plan and swore to follow it sincerely every single day.

In the start everything went great. I gained a few pounds (that I very much needed), I gained strength, and was performing better on the golf course.

That same year I went to visit my mom in California. Everything about the meal plan given to me by my nutritionist was forgotten and I began to restrict myself again. My mom, being aware of negative eating patterns, coaxed me to eat better and actually feed myself. However, my recovery was taken to the extremes and I began to binge eat.

I was stuck in a cycle of starving myself for days only to give up in the end and go on a severe binge-eating spree where I would eat and eat and eat until I could barely walk. This continued for a year and on the 20th of July, I finally decided to make some changes to my routine and dedicate myself completely to my health, self care, and self love journey.

What I Learnt So Far

  • Be Aware of Your Thoughts

Quite literally. We all have days where we can’t seem to stop thinking about how much we hate certain things about ourselves, or how we can’t seem to find a talent that sets us apart from the rest of our friends, or how we could’ve spent the 4 hours we wasted last night doing an assignment instead of watching Netflix. But hear me out, no matter how much you hate yourself, negative self talk will only bring you down and make your situation worse. Instead, focus on the things you like about yourself, wake up every morning and write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Soon you will start to notice a shift in your mindset. You’ll be more confident, you’ll create to-do lists and actually tick them off at the end of the day.

  • Workout 

I have always found that when I keep up with my daily routine and hit the gym every other day, my days seem to be more productive and I’m generally in a better mindset. Studies have also shown that working out improves one’s self-image, social skills, and also reduces symptoms of anxiety. So the next time you’re feeling sluggish – instead of heading to the fridge and chomping down a box of chocolates – head to the gym. 

  • Water is Your Best Friend 

We’re all simply tired of having every single fitness guru tell us the health benefits of water and how we should drink a gallon a day. But they really do have a point. Not only does water boost skin health but it also detoxifies the body and helps burn more calories. 

I decided to keep things short for this post. There are so many things I’ve learnt throughout last year. The most important thing to remember when you begin your self-care journey is to take things slowly. Waking up at 6 am on a Monday morning to workout before your classes won’t help unless you wake up early consistently and are dedicated towards your health goals. 

About Me


My name is Kaurvika. I am a 17 year old teenage girl and I’m going to be a freshman at UCSC. I spend most of my time reading books and drinking coffee. I decided to start this blog so that I could share all my thoughts and experiences with you guys (somehow, journalling never worked for me).

I will be writing all about mental, physical, and spiritual health, books I’m reading, my recovery from anorexia, fashion, and my consequential obsession with cats (I’m just kidding). Basically all things lifestyle.

This blog will be where all my ventures come together. I will be posting pictures along with my writing pieces, and other bits, to make things more interesting. Enjoy!