Trip around the world makes this ‘Tar Heel’ proud

Commentary by Lenzie Purcell
Times-News correspondent

Lenzie Purcell / Times-News

    As I packed up to leave the fourth leg of my journey — Hong Kong, I became elated. I survived an entire week in a foreign country alone. Not only did I survive, but I thrived. I enjoyed the sights, the sounds and especially the foods. 
   As a vegetarian, I thought it would be hard not eating meat in Hong Kong, but because Buddhism is a widely vegetarian religion and also very popular inHong Kong, it was very easy to find meat-free restaurants.
   I thoroughly enjoyed the Dim sum, a traditional Chinese meal served “family style.” I enjoyed this because I was able to meet new people, and what better way go get to know someone than at dinner?  I spent one day looking at temples around Hong Kong.

As a Christian, I was a little reserved about this. But while standing at the base of a Taoist temple, everything seemed absolutely perfect. I was, and am, extremely grateful for my country, religion and faith. 
   I spent another day hiking along the new territories right along the Hong Kong-China border. I saw a waterfall, bird sanctuary and a floating fishing village. Again, seeing different cultures made me extremely grateful for my own. 
   Throughout my time in Hong Kong, I wore three Tar Heels T-shirts. Each day that I wore the clothing, someone would yell “Tar” at me or I was winked at by people wearingJordanjerseys. Some stopped to talk basketball, academics and even the state ofNorth Carolinaeconomics. All of this made me so pleased with my Carolina community.
   When I give campus tours, I always say that the Carolina community is worldwide, but I never knew that for sure until now. Hong Kong is a bustling and beautiful city and I am so pleased that I was able to experience it.

Lenzie Purcell is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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