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Hong Kong’s #WeekendWarriors: Outside the 9-5 hustle

Drone shots of a junk party with friends by one of Hong Kong's outlying islands (Photo: Lillian)

By Jimcy Labio

Fast-paced, bustling, and always on the go— they say a New York minute is equal to a Hong Kong second. The city is no stranger to the hectic demands of the corporate world. Revered as one of the biggest financial hubs in Asia, Hong Kong is home to hundreds of sizable businesses, banking institutions, and multinational corporations. Its premier business district also serves as a home base for many corporate professionals comprising locals and expats from all around the world. As a professional situated in a highly-competitive corporate landscape such as Asia's World City, the need to unwind from the 9-5 routine has constantly been a mission, with many wanting to maximize their weekends for adventures and hobbies that they can't do during weekdays. And as this trend proliferated online through stories, posts, and blogs, a household slang eventually rose through the ranks which came to be known as #WeekendWarriors.

The term #WeekendWarriors is used to refer to people - usually corporate professionals - who enthusiastically engage in an activity or hobby on the weekends outside of regular employment. As they hold a regular job during the week, it restricts their ability to go on trips and thus plan epic weekend adventures to compensate.

While Hong Kong, along with the rest of the world, continues to grapple with the pandemic and adjusts to the new normal, this does not stop corporate professionals in making the most out of their weekends. DotDotNews asked some of our professionals what they do outside of the 9-5 hustle and how they cope with COVID19 — take a closer look at the inhabitants of the city and meet some of Hong Kong's #WeekendWarriors!

1.Melody, Social Media Manager

As a creative soul with a love for the arts, Melody is usually seen in art exhibitions around the city. She also spends the weekends taking ceramic and painting classes in Hong Kong Island or planning outdoor activities. "I also meet friends over brunch or drinks in the evening. When the weather is good, I enjoy an easy hike or chilling at the beach. I also enjoy exploring Hong Kong's outlying islands such as Cheung Chau and Lamma Island," said Melody.

Performance art and art installation, Art Basel 2018 (Photo: Melody)
Painting class in Hong Kong Island (Photo: Melody)
Ceramic class in Hong Kong Island (Photo: Melody)

She usually plans one or more activities during the weekend, depending on whether it will be a beach day or an art class/exhibition. "It feels like a waste to not take advantage of good weather to enjoy Hong Kong's beautiful outdoors and interesting areas out of the city."

When asked about how the pandemic has impacted her recent activities, Melody shared, "With COVID, I think it's more important to think long-term and understand that these social distancing measures are temporary. The better we are at complying with rules, the faster we'll resume to some sort of normalcy - hopefully."

A snapshot of a day out in Peng Chau (Photo: Melody)
A snapshot of a day out in Cheung Chau (Photo: Melody)

2. Saurabh Singh, IT Consultant

Saurabh adapts quite a sporty lifestyle and loves exploring Hong Kong's Great Outdoors. "I like to keep my weekends active, [so] I try to pick at least two activities every weekend. I engage in various sports activities like beach volleyball, squash, and hiking. I also go for drinks with my buddies."

Hiking in Lantau Peak (Photo: Saurabh Singh)
Views from a hike in Violet Hill (Photo: Saurabh Singh)

He also prefers to fill his time with activities in the weekends as a way to unwind from the corporate world. "As we all know, working life in a fast-paced city such as ours can sometimes be challenging, especially when you're both physically and mentally confined to an office space. This is why I think it's a must to go out, do the things you like, see your friends, and even engage in activities together. Doing the things that I love helps me feel energized."

Beach day with friends at Repulse Bay (Photo: Saurabh Singh)

While the virus may have limited Saurabh's activities, he sees this pandemic as an opportunity to try new things. "[While] there is an impact due to COVID restrictions such as the closure of sports centers/beaches or regulation of these areas with social distancing rules, I got the chance to develop a few new productive skills such as cooking, reading books, and meditation to keep myself motivated. I still look forward to weekends to pursue these new interests."

3. Lillian, Office Manager

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Lillian loves weekend getaways and spends most of her adventures with friends. "Every weekend for me is a different adventure altogether. Sometimes I go on hikes, lounge on the beach, and rent a boat to fish or to wakeboard. Other times, I hang out with friends and we do activities together such as dancing, kayaking, and junk parties. I usually make it a point to have something planned every weekend," shared Lillian.

Drone shots of a junk party with friends by one of Hong Kong's outlying islands (Photo: Lillian)
Fishing day in the waters of Sai Kung (Photo: Lillian)

Like most professionals, Lillian likes to maintain a work-life balance, and this drives her preference to spend weekends out rather than staying at home. "Weekends are the only time that I am free to do what I truly enjoy. It's something I won't be able to do on a weekday when I have to work."

The pandemic also doesn't stop Lillian from her passion for adventure — besides drinking with friends and dancing, she shared that she's still been able to do other activities like hiking and going to the beach, with proper observance of social distancing measures.

Summit views at Twin Peaks (Photo: Lillian)
Summit views at Lion Rock (Photo: Lillian)
Summit views at The Peak (Photo: Lillian)

Got any activities you'd like to share with your fellow #WeekendWarriors? Share your adventures in the comments section!

 

Jimcy tells stories of "Home Kong" in the eyes of a non-local. Outside the 9-5, she can be found exploring with friends, trying something artsy, or randomly bopping to a tune.

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