As promised, I am asking to international travellers and people living and working in a foreign country to share their life stories with me to know why they decided to leave families and friends behind to explore new realities and meet new cultures!
Are you curious about how they managed to adapt and settle in their new countries? Then follow my expat interviews categorised by country! Are you an expat wanting to share your tips and experience with the rest of the world and be a source of inspiration? Then fill in the expat interview form: I would love to hearing from you!
“Travelling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Iba Battuta
Let’s meet Lamia: an expat never tired of travelling
Introduce yourself briefly. Tell us who you are!
Hello! My name is Lamia. I live in Hong Kong since 2010 and I love my city. It’s one of the most amazing places on earth. I love reading, mingling with my friends and travelling. We are planning to move to Rome for a new adventure in the coming months.
Why did you move to your current country?
I visited Hong Kong for the first time in 2008 and I fell in love with the city. I came back here on holidays several of times and finally decided to never leave it.
What do you do for a living? How was the job hunting?
I run an Art gallery called the Nockart Gallery. I have been actually very lucky as I met all my employers through acquaintances and I never applied online, but from my friends’ experiences, they have used LinkedIn and Jobsdb to find a job. It’s still easy to find a job here without speaking Cantonese and Mandarin but things change, it’s more challenging than 10 years ago. I will suggest Jobsdb and Linkedin to find a job or contact local head-hunters.
How is the social life in your city, is it easy to make friends?
Social life is great: it’s easy to make new friends. They are so many events and parties that you can find on Meetup or Eventbrite. It’s easy to make friends amongst expat. There are a lot of Facebook group that you can join. and it’s the most often used by new comers in Hong Kong. It’s more difficult to make local friends. It take times to have a deep relationship as sometimes cultures seems to be a gap, but I’m lucky enough to have both local and expat friends! There is also a French association called UFE for people who just arrived in the city.
Why should people move there? Why did you fall in love with this place?
It’s an unique place. You can hike every week end or go to the beach. 70% of the city is a natural park, but in 20 minutes you can be in the busiest city of the world: skyscrapers and hectic city life. It’s an expensive place though, so you must be sure to have a high salary before moving here.
What do you want to say to people looking to move there?
l encourage people to move to Hong Kong. Make sure that the salary covers the accommodation and lifestyle here (private schools if they have children, dining, holidays, nanny if needed), because if you lose your job, there is no help from the government and it would be hard. If you need to look for a flat here are some useful websites (www.spacious.hk, www.28hse.com, www.midland.com.hk) and FB groups: – Rent a flat in Hong Kong, – Find apartments and studio flats in HK, – Easy rent in Hong Kong.
How is the health system? Is it a safe place to live in?
The health system is very good: it is almost free if you have an ID card, and it’s efficient and of good quality. I think it’s one the safest place in the world, especially for women. You can go out until late without fear!
How is the general cost of living, what is the average rent?
The cost of life is very expensive. On average a 2 bedrooms flat costs 2300 euros per month.
The MTR is clean, it has A/C, it’s very efficient and you pay according to the stop and distance.
You can buy very affordable food at the wet market. If you go to the supermarket looking for western food, then the prices are extremely high. For example, a steak costs 15 euros.
Tell us something you don’t like about where you live and the difficulties you came across when settling in.
The downside of living in Hong Hong, apart from the expensive lifestyle, is that if you want to travel you have to take a flight to go anywhere due to the huge distances.
Tell me an unmissable thing to do in your city over a weekend
If you come to Hong King you should really visit to Victoria Peak, the highest hill of the city to enjoy beautiful panoramic views. I love Mong Kok Ladies market: it’s a crazy, busy, and full of lights area. You can shop until 11pm, eat, walk around, do shopping. I really love it!
Did you find Lamia’s experience useful? Then check out the other upcoming expat interviews in other cities!