When it was confirmed that I was being made redundant at work, I had already booked my holiday to Hong Kong to spend Christmas with the family, so I took the opportunity to extend my stay by a few weeks, resulting in my longest time away from home since I was a student!
(Cue some random photos from my trip!)
The long break meant that for once, I had time to enjoy things at a leisurely pace – previous visits have often left me feeling like I needed another holiday as they’ve been packed with too many activities all squeezed into the relatively short space of time that I’m out there for my usual annual trip.
On this occasion, things which time allowed me to do included:
- Spending more time with my parents and grandmother
- Spending quality one-to-one time with my siblings
- Going on a couple of hikes (including one extreme off-track one!)
- Playing Mahjong
- Going kayaking
- Playing badminton and football with my nephews (although I did suffer a little tumble #spectacularfall. My knees are still bruised!)
- A lot of walking, although this was in part due to various members of the family (including me!) downloading the game ‘Pokémon Go‘ and we went on family walks to catch Pokémon, haha!
I spent a little more than usual but only because my holiday was longer. My biggest purchase was a new suitcase (£125), as the old, battered one I’d been using for the past 5-6 years finally needed to be replaced (handle broke). I don’t think I was ever tempted to go on a holiday spending splurge, particularly as the exchange rate was so bad. I think most of my money went on food/eating out.
So, I just picked up a couple of items of clothing, some dried foodstuffs, small bits for the kitchen and bathroom and of course, the musical instrument as mentioned in my goals post!
My Mum inevitably put a little pressure on me to stay on and seek employment in HK. A decade ago, this would probably have been something I would have seriously considered. However, at this stage of my life, I do not feel the urge to embark on a complete life and career change. To earn decent money, it’s the usual rat race and I don’t feel inclined to join a new one in a different country right now.
Good old Blighty (pre and post Brexit) remains my home, I have a good circle of friends and feel that the best chance I have of achieving FI and retiring early is by staying and working here. Just need to find myself a job but as I write this, I’m not in a particular rush.
Whilst I was leisurely enjoying my holiday, I pondered on what it would be like to retire in HK. My parents lead a very happy retired life here – they have a big network of friends, a busy social life, are close to the grandchildren, go on trips and outings all the time and generally want for nothing. They enjoy more warm weather than cold too.
If I retired there, I would be close to family and be able to enjoy all the things I love about HK. However the big elephant in the room would be – where would I live? Certainly not long term with family – I can’t remember (fortunately) the last time I’ve been involved in a proper family argument but that’s because I’m never around long enough for one!
Hong Kong is one of the most expensive places to live – more so than London so you can imagine the extremely unlikely proposition of me buying property out there. Renting too would be pretty much out of the question.
So financially, it makes sense for me to continue with my plans to ultimately retire in the UK. Just need enough to live on and have enough to pay for airfares for my visits!
As I get over the last bits of my jet lag and a nasty cold (probably picked up on the plane journey back), I think my brain has finally had time to process that I’m jobless.
I still feel quite relaxed and unworried, but I know this feeling won’t last when I get into job hunting mode!
It’s the surprise leaving do of our ex-CEO tonight (he thinks he’s meeting a few colleagues, but there’s a ‘This is Your Life’ thing planned for him!) so I’ll be looking for networking opportunities as well as catching up with ex-colleagues and friends.
I also have an appointment at the Job Centre on Monday, though I don’t think I’m entitled to any benefits. We’ll see anyway.
Have a good weekend all!