5 Things You’re Missing While Looking Down At Your Phone

Coming to Hong Kong without a phone is like having a selfie stick with no camera, Facebook with no profile picture or Instagram with no filters, and even THINKING about going on the MTR, bus or ferry without a phone is near social suicide. But I didn’t get that memo.

Fresh into the city I was ecstatic at how efficient the transportation system is in Hong Kong compared to any other cities. In fact I’d even go as far as to say it’s the best system in the world. Yet there is definitely something slightly odd about the atmosphere, especially on the bus or MTR.

My inner hippie sees me trying to smile at people, and maybe even start a conversation about how awesome it is to be in this amazing city, but that’s near on impossible. Eye contact is a rarity and conversation is minimal. Why? Because the mighty iPhone has taken over the people of Hong Kong.

However, I’m a girl who hasn’t owned a phone for a long time and because I have been so used to finding other ways to entertain myself during journeys, I have come to the conclusion that if the residents of Hong Kong glanced up once in a while from swiping on Tinder, playing candy crush games, and recording Whatsapp messages they may just see a whole different side to the city. Just like I do everyday.

I hereby announce the 5 things you have all been missing while looking down at your phone:

  1. Hong Kong is one of the most exciting places on earth. Seriously, just look up, wherever you are. Remember when you first got here and thought how awesome it all was? Well it still is. There’s no place quite like it: From ocean, to mountains and back in time for a city lunch. I am in constant awe of Hong Kong and quite frankly cant stop staring at it!
  2. The star ferry is Trip Advisor’s #5 most popular thing to do in HK, but for you it’s public transport. And the cheapest form going. $2 for undoubtedly one of the best views on sea level. At night it is pretty spectacular; let’s hope you noticed.
  3. Humans are beautiful! Maybe even more so in Hong Kong, such a vibrant and captivating city draws people from all over the world in all shapes and sizes and the buses are the most perfect place to people watch. No sunglasses needed or sneaky glances – you can stare at everyone and everything from the top of a double decker bus. Take the bus from the Star Ferry to the Peak bus one day and enjoy the beauty of the human race!
  4. Your own thoughts, right in the present moment. How many times have you got to work and realised you can’t even remember one thing about the journey? How many times have you missed the opening of the doors because you’re too busy staring at something which you could really live without? And scarily; how many times have you not seen the don’t walk pedestrian sign on the road? Texting and walking accidents now outnumber texting and driving. Yeah really. Appreciate the freedom of your thoughts.
  5. Things that remind you in Hong Kong there is always something to laugh about. Okay this last one is debatable!
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Something amazing happens when you put down your phone and look around; you pay attention to your life. You start using your senses and the present moment becomes much clearer to you. We live in a society where ‘social’ media is the most un-sociable thing of all. Since being in Hong Kong I have noticed it more than anywhere else. I see so many amazing sights and quite frankly so many attractive people, that I just want to grab their phones and shout LOOK UP!

I understand I’m a newbie to the city, and I haven’t been lured into the fast paced and competitive rush just yet, but I still cant help and smile everyday when I seem to float from A to B with little to no effort.

Okay, the MTR isn’t the most entertaining of places, but if we all took a second to look up from our phones and see or feel one of these 5 things I guarantee you will be reminded of why you fell in love with this city in the first place.

Ironically you are most probably reading this while on your phone right now. That’s ok, I’m not saying give it all up, after all we all need our phones for different reasons. Just look up once in a while, because you never know what you might see next.

Remember ‘Everyone smiles in the same language.’

I’m going to smile at you today on the MTR… will you notice?


Self proclaimed global gypsy, Sarah is a scuba obsessed travel blogger wandering the globe one cup of coffee at a time. Having recently stepped foot back on dry land after living and working on a boat in the Pacific for the last few months, she is bringing her adventurous spirit and excitement for life into Hong Kong.

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Follow Sarah on her travel website, Coffee with a Slice of Life. She will be based in Hong Kong for the near future or until the itchy feet return. Follow her adventures whiles she’s here on her FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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