11 May, 2010
What's On HK

The First Month, 7,000 miles from everything I’ve ever known

11 May, 2010

We received a great response to our Sassy Needs You post last week, and are excited to introduce some guest bloggers over the next few weeks who can share their different perspectives on Hong Kong. First up, new arrival Jessica is telling us about her experiences of being a newbie to Hong Kong. You can read more about how Jessica is doing by reading her blog, “American Girl in Hong Kong“.

Living in a new country begins the moment you arrive.

We arrived in Hong Kong a little over a month ago from Los Angeles. I’m what they call the Trailing Wife. As I’ve learned, there are hundreds of women out here like me, who have left their lives behind to follow their husbands to this exotic place. I have also met single women who have chosen to live life abroad here in Hong Kong on their own accord. Whatever the case may be, we are all women and we are all in this together!

I’m sure you can all sympathize with me that this first month can be summed up as Crazy-Exciting! The excitement is the fact that we moved 7,000 miles across the Pacific to start a new life in a new place. But Craziness surrounds your every moment with packing and parting with belongings that will stay in storage for however many years. Then there’s the task of sorting out and shipping only what I “need.” This was not easy because in my mind I needed everything! My husband still doesn’t understand why I need 50 pairs of shoes, even after I’ve explained to him that each pair have a distinct job for specific occasions! After some sweet talking though, I got my 50 pairs of shoes out here!

The first three weeks were like a long vacation.  Our flat was not ready for us to move into, so we had to sacrifice ourselves to a hotel; room and maid service, a bay view, delicious dining options and 360 degrees of shopping…life was hard, but somebody had to do it!

(Jessica has discovered the lethal strawberry daiquiris at Feather Boa – yum!)

Living in Hong Kong is very different from life in Southern California. Let’s take walking for example.  I have never walked so much in my entire life…and I have the blisters to prove it!  We don’t walk in California, we drive everywhere (it’s a big State, we can!). Riding the MTR and learning the bus routes has taken some getting used to, but I’m getting very good at it.  The fact that Hong Kongers all walk and use public transportation has prompted restaurants and companies to deliver their goods, most of the time for free. IKEA, McDonalds, Starbucks, Park and Shop, Wellcome, you name it…they deliver!

As with anything, all good things must come to an end…as our belongings were moved into our new flat, reality started to set in. Homesickness. I think it was day 25 when I finally cried.  Maybe it was the hour long misunderstood phone conversation with the PCCW representative that set me into frustration…or perhaps it was the constant state of sweating profusely from this heat and humidity that got to me (and yes, I know it’s not summer yet as you all have told me, I will literally melt when summer arrives!). Whatever it was though, it was happening.  I was longing for something familiar, for my mom, for my friends.

Everything was moving so fast, and now it was a fact: I live in Hong Kong.

I began to remind myself why we decided to move here and the bottom line is this- it is an opportunity of a lifetime! This is the chance to experience a new way of life, a new culture, to travel to new countries and to live in one of the most exciting cities in the world! I am here. You are here. Take it and run with it! So that is just what I’ve done, I’m running with it.

Now we’re into our second month of life in this big city, we’re getting settled and each day brings a new story to my book of life.  As I stroll through my new neighborhood exploring all of the little alley ways, meeting new people, enjoying the food, and just taking in all of the new surroundings, I think to myself: I live in Hong Kong…pretty awesome!

-An American Girl in Hong Kong

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