Well, earlier this year I went ahead and did it — I quit my full-time W-2 Corporate America engineering gig and made plans to do something else with my life. Fast forward to present day, and I’ve now been living in Hong Kong for just bout a full month now!
Wow, time flies! In a recent post, I tried my best to give readers my own “first impression” take on my new home city, and now that I’m more or less situated with my surroundings, here’s a follow up to that initial post.
So far, things have been going well. Actually, it’s turning out that I’m liking HK even more than I had originally anticipated. I guess for me, the change is something that is so different that I’m just entirely digging it…
I mean, back in the Bay Area, I just got so accustomed to the “day-to-day” stuff, that I guess I got stuck in a massive rut. Like, I lost my motivation, creativity, excitement, and just passion for life in general… Most days felt the same, and even when someone would suggest something fun, like, “Let’s go hang out in the City (San Francisco)!“, I would always reply along the lines of, “Meh…”
No matter how AWESOME the event, I always felt the same way — Been there, done that.
With HK, it just feels so… fresh and exciting.
Like, these days, I’ve been watching a lot of HK television, and it’s a freekin’ cool new experience for me…
I’m like doing my best to follow along and understand what they are saying, but I usually fail to keep up because my Cantonese is so bad… But where I am now in my life, I would much rather enjoy watching these Cantonese programs than I would anything else that is being aired in the states right now, if it’s in English…
Most recently, I went to the movies to watch Finding Dory in 3D, in Cantonese… with no English subtitles.
Again, it was painful for me to try and keep up, but if I could do it over again, I would have done the same thing and watched it in Cantonese, even though I understood only like 40% of the dialogue?
So, yes, even if it sounds weird, it is what it is — I’m just getting a kick out of living nothing more than a normal, mundane life in HK… By most accounts, my new life is actually extremely bland and uneventful, but truth be told, this is everything that I ever wanted…
I left the old world behind… Here, nobody knows me, and I have no baggage with me…
Like, check out my new $20 bed (that radical sheet cover came bundled for FREE)!
Yes, even though I have access to a full bedroom, I’m choosing instead to live more simply… Due to the extreme heat and humidity in HK, it’s actually much more preferable for me to sleep on the “cool” floor, with the windows open.
Obviously, the above won’t appeal to most people, but for me, it’s more a matter of circumstances — I’m a single dude with no dependents, so I don’t yet have to answer to anybody… I’m just doing everything and anything that I want to do.
As readers know, I’m an extremely simple person… I require almost ZERO flash, which is why early FI at age 31 was entirely possible for me… I mean, most people you talk to will never believe that you can pull it off, until you actually do… And then, they’ll say things like, “Well, I could never live like that!”
No, perhaps not… but I can!
So, I do…
To me, there ain’t anything out there more precious than time, so I’m just doing my best to maximize it. For me, the entire concept of early FI works quite well b/c I require almost no material possessions to be extremely happy. When I left for HK, I packed all my belongings into one large suitcase, and a carry-on bag…
As of today, I really don’t miss anything that I left behind…
Fancy luxury SUV?
Toys, gadgets, and a wardrobe I never fully utilized?
My collection of guitars?
OK, I’ll admit, I do wish (on occasion) that I had an acoustic and maybe ONE electric guitar and portable amp!
Outside of that, nah, I don’t miss most everything I left to rot away in storage… Especially not my expensive money-pit (SUV).
These days, my life has been simplified tremendously.
- No more monthly phone/data plan (pay as you go SIM card).
- No more car registration, insurance, gas, car maintenance, etc. to deal with (public transportation and the bus are super cheap here, like $0.50/ride).
- No more needing to upgrade the wardrobe to impress co-workers and people I don’t care about.
- Etc., Etc.
As for eating, and healthcare?
Well, here’s a “normal” meal for me.
Does that look bland and disgusting to you?
But it hits the spot for me! And yet it’s a dirt cheap (maybe $0.50/serving), healthy and fulfilling meal!
Sure, I do indulge and eat out on occasion, but I’ll be honest with you, even when I do, it doesn’t really bring me that much more joy… And no, I’m not “torturing” or “punishing” myself so that I can save a few extra pennies each month… I just want to eat clean… For instance, I refuse to put ramen noodles into my body just to save on expenses; now that would defeat the whole purpose!
I actually just enjoy eating a clean diet… The fact that it is super affordable is just icing on the
Life is good!
The best part is now I have all the time in the world to exercise and get my body right… Most people in early FI are worried about healthcare and those related expenses can really add up… But I’ve kind of always rationalized that if you had all the time in the world to work out like 1-2 times each and every day, it’s going to go a very long ways towards reducing any healthcare expenses that you might otherwise have to incur.
Day 1 – Rome was not built in a day… And neither will this soft tub of lard (bag of bones?) be transformed into something… less embarrassing.
Right now, nothing is bringing me more joy and satisfaction than being able to go to the gym each day… I look forward to those few hours more than anything else, truth be told.
Bottom line, early FI is an extremely personal and unique experience. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another… You just gotta know yourself and what your goals and expectations are. In my case, I knew that working the 9-5 grind for the long haul wasn’t in the cards for me… I hated that type of lifestyle…
But deep down, I kinda always knew that I was this extremely simple, and uncomplicated person… which is why I believed that I could get to early FI at a relatively young age… Point blank, I just do not require or desire much in this world to be happy.
Once you’ve got the wealth part of the equation taken care of, what’s left?
And those life “necessities” don’t have to cost a fortune to obtain, either… Hey, there’s that saying, “The best things in life are free.”
Right now, I’m going full throttle on taking care of health…
It’s a most simple life…
To me, it’s absolutely beautiful and everything that I always wanted.
I’m happy… beyond words.