26 August, 2014
What's On HK

Leaving Hong Kong – thoughts on saying goodbye to this great city

26 August, 2014
As Winnie the Pooh once said, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. Choosing to leave Hong Kong has been an emotional roller-coaster. Over the past 6 months I have found myself hating things like the pollution and the politics, to sobbing with happiness as I strolled through flower markets and my favourite hiking trails.


Like anything, you become blasé about the life you are leading – rooftop cocktails on Fridays, junk trips on Saturdays, hikes and free-flow brunch on Sundays, races on Wednesdays, weekend trips to Bangkok etc. And let’s not forget the $3.40 smooth, pain-free 10 minute bus journey to work! When you take a step back to look at what you have – Hong Kongers are so damn lucky. We have the best of so many worlds. This incredible city is definitely what you make of it.

Yet many people leave. It’s a transient city. I’ve lost so many friends to New York, London and Sydney and now I’m one of those people… Sitting on the other side of the table, I’ve learnt a few valuable lessons.

  • Prepare yourself:
    It sounds silly, but I wasn’t prepared for a) how much there is to do! And b) just how sad I would be. Give yourself enough time to soak it all up and enjoy your final few weeks/months. Leaving in a mad panic with a million things to do in the last three days won’t be fun for anyone!


  • Make a bucket list:
    What haven’t you done and what do you want to do again? Mine included things like visiting the Jade Market and taking a solo ride on the Star Ferry over a sunny lunch break.
  • Make time:
    Not just for your nearest and dearest, but for the people who were part of the journey. I would hate to look back and think “I wish I had seen this person”.
  • Host a leaving sale:
    Clean out your closest. What works in this city may not work where you’re headed – invite friends over for bubbles and a spot of shopping.


  • Snap that:
    My walk from work is second to none – from the fish market to the fortune tellers, there’s visual inspiration everywhere that I don’t want to forget about. Put down your phone, wander around with your camera and capture moments you would normally walk by.
  • Write it down:
    There is so much to remember and do. I treated myself to a Moleskin and a nice pen, which I kept in my handbag for three months prior to leaving. I just had to write every little thing down so I didn’t forget anything!

In all honesty, nothing can fully prepare you for packing up your life and saying goodbye to those who make it. The key is to make every moment count, whether that’s curled up on the sofa watching the 256th rerun of Masterchef or dancing on the bar in Carnegies on a Wednesday night.

Here’s a few things off my Hong Kong bucket list:


  • Lion’s Rock hike
  • Milk tea and condensed milk buns at Australia Dairy Company
  • Cocktails on the Aqua Luna


  • Tai Chi in Hong Kong Park
  • Watching the sun rise


Thank you to Charlotte for sharing her thoughts with us and for being such an incredible Sassy contributor! She will be greatly missed here at Sassy, but we’re so excited for her to start a new adventure. Keep your eyes peeled as she may be popping up on Sassy Australia soon! Good luck Charlotte x


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