Wednesday, 22 August 2012


So today marks my one year of being in Hong Kong to mark this day I thought I'll pop onto blogger to answer and share a few questions people have asked me over the year about life and experiences here - as per usual non too personal.

Going to another country for a 'longer-than-a-holiday" time period.
My first advice would be, prepare everything and give yourself enough time to. I left myself about a fortnight to get my act together and prepare myself to go somewhere in which I won't easily return for a period of time that I wasn't sure of (to answer questions - I'm still unsure of how long that will be). Now in terms of preparing yourself this breaks down into a lot of categories;

Emotional preparation is key as you need to accept that you won't be back for a long time, I spent a good chunk of my time in the UK visiting family and friends dear to me as I never knew when I would see them again, even to this day it breaks my heart about how I selfishly moved away, so before making the decision of moving for a long time ask yourself seriously if it's really what you want.

Financial preparation, this is standard procedure, ensure you have enough to last you and ensure that you have a safety to enable you to go back to where you started. After all if it's hard for you to leave, you don't want to have the mistake of not being able to return should you want and/or need to. Tying up loose ends is also a good thing to do, ensure you have enough left over to pay any outstanding direct debits should you find yourself tied to contracts, I know this maybe an obvious point but sometimes it's the most obvious that you'll leave out. This also goes across the board for any contracts/legal documents/business related issues, make sure that they're all cleared for you to leave for whatever the time period it is that you're going for, it's a bigger hassle trying to organise such important issues across different timezones (not to mention being on hold for hours whilst paying an overseas surcharge)

Belongings preparation, pack things to remind you of where you came from, things that you hold dear to your heart. At the same time you can't take everything so you need to think wisely about this. You'd want to go out and pick up a few things (backups) of items you can't live without especially if they're not easily accessible where you're going to. The worst thing you want to do is be in a panic situation and not have a clue where to find these items, neither if the products from the foreign companies are trustworthy, different countries have different consumer standards so if it's important than stock up on things that you trust and know.

Physical preparation, like my last point, if you have any health issues you'd want to go get medication and check up in a hospital and/or with a doctor you know and trust, foreign countries also have different health standards and systems in which you may not be familiar with. Dependant on where you'll be travelling to there could be health issues you may need to be assessed for, including vaccinations should you need any - after all if you're planning on staying for a long time you would want to make sure you'll still be alive when you come back (touchwood).

Attitude preparation, just because you've spent a long time in one country and things work well for you it doesn't go to say that they will all work smoothly in another, keep an open and positive mind, stay curious, and of course be humble. After all you are part of the minority now, you should learn to adapt to their culture, I'm not saying you should become one of them, but look past the negative sides of the cultures and embrace the positives they have to offer - you chose to go to the country for a reason didn't you? So don't focus on the negativities, it'll make you homesick and you'll only begin to question your own decision which isn't a good road to go down. Friendliness is key, building a contact base of locals in which will provide you with advice and invaluable knowledge of the area, social skills within reason are essential here.

Little London
Or some of you may refer it to being Hong Kong, this place is rather comparable to London in terms of convenience, in which allows you to be a stones throw away from society, there's a wide variety for food and activities to suit any liking. Lifestyle really does boil down to mentality in which you have the choice to do what you want so long as you feel like it, which in different peoples eyes can be either positives or negatives, it's hot and humid here from time to time, it can also get really chilly, so adapting to climate change and processed air would be essential here, learning to air out your washing properly to avoid the horrifying damp smell as well as finding the perfect deodorant for yourself, tweaking everyday routines and healthcare for climate changes is a minor adaption.

They say your heart is where your home is, in which inevitably is true. Home is within the memories and experiences that we have created and engraved into our hearts. As it has become something we know well it's where we feel at ease, in which is why we feel at 'home'. This doesn't necessarily mean that it is down to the precise neighbourhood you grew up in, because as time goes on the people and the area changes and it wouldn't be the same as you remembered. So home to me, is within my heart, and that will never leave me.

I believe I've covered most topics aside from the touristy questions, but that's all down to individual preferences and tastes so I won't cover that here.

Who knows where I'll be next

with love,
k x