As much as I had tried to stay positive, 2020 sucked! But I will continue to count my small blessings of being "stuck" in China that I have gratefully counted along the way. One being that we have had the opportunity to visit places within this vast country, never considered before.
Over the past years, I have gotten used to escaping to Southeast Asia during the Winter holidays. It has always been a time to feel the heat, relax, soak up the sun, and breathe in much needed fresh air. This winter was different and given the limitations of travel this year, we were left with options within China.
Hainan Island, located in Southern China, has become a place of tropical refuge to many this year, and almost everyone that I knew in Shanghai had visited this Summer. They raved about how great it was as a getaway and encouraged me to visit.
Being an island girl, it was initially hard to convince me that there was a tropical island in China that would fulfill my longing for sun, sea and sand. But Halfway convinced, I packed my bags and headed off to the island for our New Year’s celebration.
I left Shanghai with an open mind and no expectations and was pleasantly surprised upon arrival in Hainan. The tropical climate, laid back vibe and beauty had an immediate effect on me, and a wave of much-needed optimism took over on this trip.
We spent 7 days in Sanya, Hainan, basking in the sun on white sandy Yalong bay and indulging in the surf vibes at Houhai Bay. For a moment it felt like somewhere far away. There was even an abundance of tropical fruit that made me feel more at home.
We eventually brought in 2021 by celebrating with friends who had also flocked to the island for some much-needed serenity and sun. We spent this night on Houhai Bay, eating, laughing, drinking, and dancing the night, and the memory of 2020, away. The vibe was phenomenal, a bit surreal and in all, a moment where we celebrated the victory of making it through 2020 in China.
Then and there, I was reminded that the spirit of open-mindedness, often rewards us with opportunities to experience the best of what life continually throws at us. I’m happy that I made it to Hainan and now I have the comfort of knowing that there is a tropical place of respite in China. An island, with white sand, clear waters, unbelievably blue skies and fresh air, and one that most slightly reminds me of home.
So, 2021! We’re finally here and I hope that in some way, we all muster up the courage and strength to peacefully thrive through this one. I’ve decided to fearlessly walk into this new year, ready for whatever it throws at me, so, stay tuned...