Summer 2016: Doing nothing is an option

26 06 2016

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And so, Summer is here. The last few days in Hong Kong have seen schools empty and glorious golden sunshine pour down from the skies. The haze that sometimes hangs over the city has lifted, leaving crystalline views of the sea and the mountains and friends  posting images like the one above ( hashtag no filter) on their Facebook pages. Families and colleagues are flying off for the break and the pace on the streets has slowed down to a leisurely shuffle. Well, in some places at least.

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Last year at this time I was embarking on a backpacking journey through Isaan, to Laos. In Bangkok en route I had floated contentedly in the swimming pool of my favourite hotel, the Liberty Garden, since demolished, and pondered my many blessings.

Two years ago I took my partner down to a wintry Melbourne, where we spent crisp, cool days riding bicycles and visiting wineries.

The year before that, I had decamped for six weeks to Brooklyn, to ride the sweaty subway to Bushwick, walk down streets listening to hip hop and salsa music blasting from windows, and explore the concrete canyons of Manhattan.

Happy memories all. But Summer 2016? What was the plan?

This year I had wanted to save money and slow down – I decided to stay in Hong Kong for my first full Summer (barring possible last minute cheap packages for weekends away in nearby countries).

I would go to the beach and the gym, explore new cafes and far-flung islands. I would read. I would enjoy time at home, do a little cleaning, swim and run in the evenings, see friends, catch up on some light work, cook for my boyfriend. I also decided to take on a few mornings of Summer courses for some extra pocket money. And I would do a staycation for a few days, setting myself up in an Air BnB to see a (very) different side of the city (of which, more soon). I was looking forward to this change of pace but also wary; would it be enough to sustain me through six weeks? What would I do with all that time? Would I get bored? But a conversation with a friend helped to ease my fears.

“Why do you have to do anything?” he said. ”  Not doing anything is an option.”

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