A Bit on my Holiday

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!)

Time

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.

I last visited this place as a teenager – didn’t recognise any of it!

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!

Encountered on one of my hikes!

Spending

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!

Work/Retirement

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.

The local seafood counter offers a good variety!

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!

I rubbed the Laughing Buddha’s tummy!

Back Home

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!

15 thoughts on “A Bit on my Holiday

  1. ”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.”

    This resonates with me. I have the opportunity to possibly source work overseas for a short period of time in the near future.. Not that it does not fit in with FI but having the financial structure and knowledge of how the system works here plays to our advantage. The financial systems are perhaps more streamlined and online systems much more well developed including brokers, funds, etc.

    Moving to another country means needing to do more research and learning.. It would probably broaden our knowledge, but why complicate things when things are working.

    Geographical arbitrage is an interest topic to look into tho. Someday I still dream of living in a different country.

    • Thanks for the comment, FP.

      I agree with not complicating things. If I were to live in a different country, it wouldn’t be on a permanent basis anyhow.

      All the best with your overseas work opportunity!

  2. Hi Weenie,

    Glad to hear it was a good time with family and friends, and even some healthy exercise in there! I haven’t played Mahjong in ages – finding anyone in London who can even work it out (not the annoying online game by the same name), although I lost my book on winning hands for it, so I am limited 🙂

    Good to hear you aren’t too stressed yet on the work front, but good luck hunting, use the networking opportunity, and make sure you find a job that suits you 🙂

    Cheers,
    FiL

    • Hey FiL

      Ooh, I don’t know many people other than family or family friends who know how to play ‘real’ Mahjong (as opposed to the matching tiles online/computer game you mention)! I was pretty rusty but very soon started to remember winning hands and fortunately, I was lucky and ended up winning a little! 😉

      Thanks – I did do a little networking and got a few more LinkedIn contacts!

      • I have to be honest its been a very long time since I got my set out, sadly trying to find 3 other people to play with is very hard – even in London! Congrats on winning some – I think I would get wiped if I tried to play again!

        Congratulations – keep looking and remember you are in a hugely strong position!
        FiL

  3. I showed Mr. ETT your photos, and he said “I know those buses!” He’s been playing a game called Sleeping Dogs, where you are an undercover policeman in Hong Kong. He also bought virtual curry fish balls and tea from a street stall

    Sounds like your mum and dad have the type of retirement we aspire to.

    • Haha, haven’t heard of the game ‘Sleeping Dogs’ before but just googled and it was praised for its authentic depiction of urban HK! Yes, I can only really dream of a retirement like my parents’ but I’ll try to get as close as I can!

  4. HK sounds good!

    I’ve never been to a Jobcentre, but I did see the recent film “I, Daniel Blake” which made them seem pretty grim! Hope that wasn’t your experience.

    I also did a lot of Pokemon Go for a (very) short period in the Summer, so I chuckled in recognition at your mention of going on walks primarily to “catch ’em all”.

    • Hi FS
      I was actually pleasantly surprised that the visit to the Job Centre wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be – things have obviously improved lot since I last had to sign on, which was when I had just graduated and back then, it was very stark and grim with lots of queues.

      I’ve not played so much of Pokemon Go since I’ve gotten back home, although perhaps I should as it’ll encourage me to do some walking to ‘hatch my eggs’, haha!

  5. Best advise ever; holidays are for relaxing. Never rush to see all you “need” to see or do. Just chill, go with the flow at your own pace. If it’s just about the high lights, just check google; they have shorter cues and better pictures.

    Best of luck finding a brand new start somewhere…

  6. Loving the pics of HK weenie!

    It’s hard hearing your parents suggest ideas to you that you know won’t really ever work out, but at least it’s nice that she obviously would like to have you around full time 🙂

    It sounds like a move away from HK to UK is very much a one way street (unless you move to a very highly paid job over here I guess), similar to how moving out of London into the sticks would be for most people over here as well. I can see why there are many people reluctant to make that move although I am thankful that my family happen to based in a not quite so high COL area.

    Good luck when the job search starts in earnest!

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