2021: Adventure is a state of mind

Hong Kong, 8 Jan 2022 First week into the new year, I finally have a quiet weekend after a month full of festivities — a lot of long overdue catch ups and laughters to end 2021. In summary, 2021 was the second year of covid-19, a full 365 days staying in Hong Kong, fully vaccinated, not a single time need to do a covid test, have a comfortable place to live and surrounded by great people. What else could I ask for?

With Hong Kong extremely strict travelling restrictions, it is still very hard for me to go home or travelling although a lot of places have started to open up. The 21-days quarantine in HK (and 14-days in Jakarta) do make me think twice to travel, not only about the money or work arrangement but also my sanity. It is kinda frustrating but doesn’t stop me from living 2021 to the fullest. Here are my three takeaways from the year.

#mickeytheexplorer is still exploring.. domestically

For some, not being able to travel is boring. For me, adventure is a state of mind. It’s less about the place but more about trying something new and exciting even domestically. 2021 had my firsts in scuba diving, wakesurfing, bouldering, camping on the beach twice, stand up paddle, switching job, hitting gym 4x a week, selling homemade martabak and macaroni schotel, spending CNY in HK, journaling and many more firsts and funs.

Each of this activity gives me its own endorphins and eye-opening surprises — just like travelling. Don’t let covid-19 or travel restrictions stop you from exploring and seeing the world. Try doing something that you never thought doing before and it could be as simple as cooking new recipe or learning new language. Mickey learning cantonese in 2022, maybe? lol

Your priorities in different season of life

After the first half creating my own explorations, I was thankful to be able to switch job. I emphasise thankful because given the world economic situation is not at its best, I still got a decent offer. I got the chance to step up and have more responsibilities. I work at least 14 hours a day, including some weekend work. It was tough at the beginning but I knew it’s the challenge I was looking for and my priority for now.

I tried to keep my social life, working out, and weekend plans but eventually something needs to take priority. Changes are always uncomfortable but we’ll be alright at the end. One thing I learnt is to give my best at the present moment and let go of things I can’t control.

It is hard. I have to admit sometimes seeing people’s stories in instagram got me. That’s why it’s important to know our current priorities and acknowledge that our priorities change in different season of life.

Going home in 2022

The only constant is the feeling of homesick getting stronger each day. I used to fly back home twice a year plus at least one family vacation a year. I never really feel homesick in the last 5 years or so because I know when is the next time seeing my family and friends at home. This time hits differently.

With all the strict quarantine and travel restrictions, it’s so hard to plan ahead. It’s been almost two years and I still have no clue when is the next time I can go home. One thing for sure, I must go home in 2022 whatever it takes. At the end of the day, having great adventure or career can’t replace the warmth of spending time with your loved ones.

Sometimes, I’m still in denial that the pandemic has been going on for two years. Have we been living with mask and excessive use of hand sanitiser for that long? Have we been in on-and-off lockdown, quarantine, and wfh for two years already? It doesn’t feel so. 2021 was definitely a much better year than 2020 as we all have learnt to manage expectation and adapt to the new normal, and I got a feeling 2022 will be even better!

Happy New Year to you! May your 2022 be a year of your adventure 🏄🏼🎢

To a more adventurous 2022,

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