If you had asked me five years ago what I preferred – the heat or the cold – I would have definitely said the heat, of course! I always thought it would be great to live in a country where my fingers never hurt because of the cold, I would only need to shop summer outfits, I would always wear my hair up in a bun and first and foremost where I would not have to shovel snow of my car in the winter mornings.
Well, even though there are some kind of “seaons” in Hong Kong, summers were hot. Disgustingly hot if you were not used to it. Singapore and Bangkok lack the “seasons” and are even hotter throughout the year. In the beginning, it felt like holidays. You have the pool right at your doorstep, or even the beach. The climate and lifestyle actually reminds me of winter in Austria: you spend most of the time inside in the airconditioned rooms and try to limit walking to a minimum. When I come back to Austria everybody is really disappointed that my skin was actually whiter than during Austrian winters. “Aren’t you in the tropics all the time? You should be tanned!”. Well, I wished!
For people living in a relatively mild climate in Europe, summer days are spent outside. It is really pleasant in the morning, might be hot at noon and then there are those beautiful summer evenings where you can sit outside until the sun goes down at 10 pm. If you live in the tropics, the sun goes down every day at exactly the same time and within a few minutes it is completely dark. And usually, in the really hot months, it is just too hot to spend your time outside or even tan in the sun. (Every time when I see some foreign tourists literally roasting in the sun, I would love to run over and rescue them…)
The advantage, however, is that you are so close to the beach. You can go sailing, chill at beach clubs or just relax and read a book. I just love it. And I love it even more when I get text messages from Austria with pictures of people shoveling snow off their cars 😀
However, being away from winter, really made me miss the seasons in Austria. The spring days when the first flowers start to gloom and the sun is not too strong yet. The summer morning runs in the forest, sometimes even the gray autumn days. And I even started to miss SNOW. The one thing I could not stand when I lived in Europe.
It is funny how things and attitudes change over time. I think once we get older, we learn to appreciate everything – whether it is living in the tropics or in the freezing cold. Furthermore, I learned that going to a place for holidays and living there are two completely different things. On holidays, it is nice if it is hot all the time. But walking to work in the heat is not really pleasant at all. So, my most important learning is: appreciate what you have, even things which seem annoying. Once you move, you will miss exactly those things.
Have a great week ahead!