GNO at the Island Shangri-La

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When you move to a new country and don’t know another soul, it can be extremely daunting, terrifying, and isolating. Not only might there be some culture shock, but meeting new people can be extremely nerve-wrecking especially for an introvert. When I first moved to Hong Kong, the only person I knew was the beau. Not only was I moving 8000 miles away from everything and everyone I had ever known, it was essentially like starting my adult life all over again a few months before I turned 30. It’s not how I expected my life to go, but here we are. And if you have been here from the very beginning, you’d know that it’s pretty hard for me to pass up an adventure or a challenge. Adjusting to life in Hong Kong wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, thanks to the beau teaching me basic Cantonese phrases and taking me all around the city and parts of Asia as a “welcome to your new home” gesture.

But I had no family here, and that also meant I had new friends. Making new friends can be scary, especially on a completely different continent. Add the pandemic and three years of lockdowns, it made making new friends feel like the biggest obstacle course. As someone who is naturally shy at first, making that first step to introduce yourself seems impossible. But thanks to social media, one day I finally had the courage to comment on a fellow HK creator’s post and we became Instagram friends shortly after. She was also from North America and relocated to Hong Kong around the same time as me (she has family here), so we already had that in common. After the lockdowns eased in the city, we began to go out on little friend dates and slowly she began introducing me to her circle of friends. That circle grew, and now I have so many new friends in Hong Kong.

For the past year, my friends and I have gathered every month around the city for a fun GNO (Girl’s Night Out). It’s been fun getting to try different restaurants in Hong Kong as we catch up on each other’s lives and have much needed girl talk. One of our most recent GNO’s was held at the Island Shangri-La’s famous Lobster Bar as we celebrated the launch of Sau Lee’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection. Sau Lee is a brand near and dear to many of our hearts here in Hong Kong. I first wrote about Sau Lee in 2020 shortly after I first discovered the brand (I still have the first gowns I purchased from them!), and I have been a loyal fan ever since by featuring them here, here, here, and here. Getting to work with them has been an honor, and getting to celebrate their spring/summer collection with my friends was so much fun.

Between rounds of seafood towers, lobster bisques, beef wellington, and banoffe pie, we got to chat about things we are all looking forward to this summer, our babies (a few of us are moms and one of us is expecting her first later this year!), and our upcoming travels (we are all passionate about travel). And while we got to try the wonderfully customized menu that Lobster Bar created for us, we were also dressed head to toe in Sau Lee. I got to wear this orange two-piece set that screams “summer” (and is very comfortable), but I also adore this dress, this top, and this set. Also their Sunday capsule is just stunning for summer vacation. GNO by the pool, anyone?

Outfit photos by Kim (@lamma). Food photos by me.

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