If I may be allowed a moment of personal reflection – 2016 has almost completely sucked for me, mostly in the financial department – the company I worked for decided to close January, failing to start my own business at the first quarter, not finding a job on the second quarter, partnering up with the wrong people to start up a business on the third quarter, and finally setting up shop on the beginning of the fourth quarter. Here I am now. Spending a really nice two-week holiday at Hong Kong with my girlfriend, Chi. This is a big deal, finally being able to spend freely like this. I am nothing but thankful.
Ok, back to the article – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region – a vibrant urban center, former British colony, major Southeast Asian port, and global financial hub. But for the local millenials of the Philippines, Hong Kong is the nearest Disneyland Resort, and (sometimes) the cheaper venue to splurge-shop (see Fa Yuen Street and Temple Street Night Market).
We went on the road less travelled – alleyways with kiosks selling Cantonese fishballs, and noodle soups, and small knick-knacks we can bring home. Monasteries, temples – where people don’t flock, we visit.
In the 15 days that we were here, I found that these things should never forgotten this year, and forever:
1. The simple things
It is so ironic that in a city as busy and complicated as Hong Kong, I’ve learned that simple is always best. We didn’t have a lot of money going here, so we had to stretch every dollar to fit the length of time that we were here. As much as we could, we stuck to a budget of HK$40 per meal (if we could push it to HK$ 30, we would, but it was almost impossible). So we were snacking a lot, and bought groceries at markets as much as we could, to save the little money we had.
Riding on the very impressive MTR really gave me a wake-up call to stop using ride apps, and start saving money by considering ride apps like a luxury. Yeah, I’d think that now because HK’s MTR is really awesome, and makes Manila’s MRT/LRT lines look like ant shit. But I’ll definitely try commuting more using the metro trains and less Uber.
When I last visited Hong Kong, I was alone, and stuck at the Central District (because train systems frighten me). For this trip, we rented out at a nice apartment at the up and coming Sai Ying Pun District, where young professionals and expats flock to its narrow and hilly streets chuck-full of hole-in-the-wall restaurants that make the neighborhoods what it is.
2. The beauty of delayed gratification
Nowadays, we quit a lot of stuff quicker than swiping right on Tinder. Only because we don’t always get the outcomes that we so desperately want – fast enough. Like that goal weight, or that raise, or the newest iPhone, or the girl/boy we’re ‘waiting’ for. Delayed gratification is something our parents failed to teach us, and that’s so weird, because they were taught firsthand that waiting and working is the way to go to achieve whatever they wanted in life. Not to mention, more fulfilling.
We need to stop thinking that we ‘deserve’ a lot of things, because we don’t. You only deserve
something anything if you put in the value of work equivalent to the outcome you want. Its just the law of the universe.
2. Real relationships
We are sucking at this as millenials. We are so full of ourselves – worrying more the likes we get and all that shit. I get it. It’s addictive…no seriously, it is. You’ll see telltale signs like when you’re at dinner with friends and you’re constantly texting somebody who’s not there, or just goddamn checking your phone right after you wake. What happened to talking over a nice meal? Or greeting the person next to you in bed a really good morning? I admit to being like this at times. It’s something I really want to change. Friends, family – you’ll need them a lot in life – in good times and even more during the bad. I just don’t want to be stuck with friends who only talk to me in the comment section of social media profiles, that’s all.
I’ll be making an effort to see the people that matter to me, and spend less time on my motherfucking phone.
There are a lot of things we do for people, and let’s face it – they aren’t appreciated as much as we want it to be.
To that I say, to hell with ‘expectation’. The kind that makes us look for approval from another person. We are so hung up on that, that we forget the most important person to please – you.
There is something mystic about being happy (albeit not totally) about the person you’re in. Fulfillment is different for everyone. If done right, not forgetting what makes you happy, like eating at the restaurant you’ve been dying to try, spending more quality time with (or finding her/him, for the singletons out there) the person you’re crazy for, going ot that concert you would ‘sell your soul for’, or traveling – will eventually take you to some level of fulfillment in your young life. It’s going to be a perpetually blooming feeling of happiness in every molecule in your body. Do it. Now. Happy 2017!
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