So, I moved to Hong Kong. Now what?

On this lovely morning, I am writing from my apartment in Hong Kong, my new home sweet home.

It has been a wild year so far, and that's putting it delicately. Let's just say, 2019 is doing me good, very good. Starting off the year still at university in England, trying to live my second year of university to the fullest while searching for a placement. At the beginning of 2019, I had no idea where I would be in 5 months time. I had idea's; I knew I was going to be overseas, for sure. Singapore? Australia? New York?
Something far away at least, something that was different from England or the Netherlands. Hong Kong has always been on my mind. I visited Hong Kong back in 2015, but moving here sounded too scary for my liking. USA and Australia are still quite western, a comfortable option, while Hong Kong is different. Different language, different culture, different things in the super market. I decided to still shoot my shot in Hong Kong, since life starts outside your comfort zone, right?

In February I received THE e-mail, a work placement offer in Hong Kong starting in July. I could not hide my happiness, I was going to move to Hong Kong in less than four months (say what?). How cool is that? It still makes me tear up when I think about that moment, especially after all the rejections I have received.
In the same month I got an acceptance email to a summer school in Shanghai too, for a month of studying Mandarin language in June.

It's now August (two months later) and I have to say, without having done an exchange in Shanghai for a month, I probably wouldn't have loved Hong Kong as much as I do now. And I probably wouldn't be this open-minded and outgoing as I am now.
Living in Shanghai was scary, but still comfortable. I had the comfort of going with a group of students from my English university. We all shared the same experience, the same culture shock and the same difficulties. If I did not had them, moving to Asia would probably be a whole lot more scary.
Now, because I have experienced China for a month and have travelled around Asia since 2015, the culture shock isn't as big as expected and living in Hong Kong is actually quite easy.
Hong Kong is very open-minded, vibrant, a city that never sleeps, and is full of expats. It is very different in comparison to Shanghai, but so much better than I expected. The first three weeks, my life has been packed with work and socialising. I still need to find that work/life balance, but so far, I think I am nailing it.

Besides being afraid for a culture shock, I was also afraid that it would be really hard to make friends. What if my colleagues don't like me, what if it is really hard to meet new people? The opposite seems true. In my three week I met so many lovely people, I even organised a social event for expat girls like me.
It helped that my colleagues have been incredibly helpful and loving too. It is like coming into a new family. In the first week they took me out for lunch every day, so I got to know them better, and they really take the time to explain logistics to me.

It is funny, because before I was born, my parents where planning on moving to Hong Kong (hence why they named me Chynna) for work. However, this plan got cancelled. If this was not cancelled I would have been born and raised in Hong Kong instead of the Netherlands. Now, 21 years later, I made it to Hong Kong anyways.

If you have specific questions about my move to Hong Kong or anything else about living in this concrete jungle, please drop them in the comments and I'll be sure to address them in future posts.
Until next time, much love.

Photo's of me taken by Quentin / No Sugar, No Milk

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