1 Year Living Abroad in Hong Kong

August 15, 2018
Jumping off a Junk Boat!

Today marks one full year since I’ve been living in Hong Kong! This day last year I arrived in Hong Kong around 8pm. Zane met me at the airport and we cabbed back to our air bnb. (We didn’t have our apartment yet, so stayed at an air bnb right in Causeway Bay for two weeks). We dropped off my bags and then grabbed some soup from a little Chinese restaurant across the street, and then Zane took me to the neighbourhood where our apartment would be. As we walked around I tried to picture us living there and wondered which restaurants would become our favourite. A lot were closed so we ended up at a small brew pub called Second Draft having a beer, talking about all the things we wanted to do in Hong Kong. I can’t even guess how many more times we’ve ended up at Second Draft since moving here, talking about the same things!

I feel like I need to write something to commemorate my 1 year Hong Kong-iversary, so here are some random thoughts I have about living in Hong Kong. Along with some random pictures I found from the last year that maybe you haven’t seen, because what’s a blog post without pictures? I have also decided I want to get really serious about documenting our time here and taking good photos, because I love how when I look at a photo it takes me back to that moment. And I love reading older blog posts about stuff we’ve done in Hong Kong. I want to make a real effort to blog more about our every day life in Hong Kong and not just the travels we take, because I seriously love everything about our life here and want to remember all the little details!

1. Hong Kong is way more beautiful than I thought it would be, especially Sai Kung! The mountains, hiking and beaches there are gorgeous. It feels like you’re in Hawaii or something, and not just an hour outside of the city. One time in May we hiked there for a mini birthday celebration, and the water that day was literally perfect – it was so clear and the most beautiful aquamarine, I really couldn’t believe it. Another one of my favourite things about Sai Kung is that you can spend the day hiking and at the beaches, and then when you’re finished take a speed boat back! When my friend Charlotte visited, we took the speed boat back and the waves that day were crazy, we were literally flying through the air and laughing hysterically, it was so funny. But you can find so much beauty closer to the city as well, whether its a quiet side street in central with giant overhanging trees, or at the top of Victoria Peak at sunset. There is so much beauty in this city is blows my mind.

From our first hike into Sai Kung back in September 2017. We couldn’t believe this existed just an hour outside of the city!

2. I’ve picked up so many new hobbies since moving here. Hong Kong is a city where everyone is super active. Before we moved here I was never much of a runner, and since being here I’ve ran two half marathons in two months! The first was through Angkor Wat and the second was through Sai Kung. It definitely helped having beautiful places to run through, but even still, that is something prior to Hong Kong I never thought was realistically achievable for me. And I just signed up for a full marathon this year! I love conquering goals I never even considered before. Another thing that has been fun to get into is hiking (of course!). Because of Zane’s back injury we had to take a long break from hiking for a few months, but now we’re back into it full force! My favourite thing to do during the week is check the weather forecast and if it calls for sun, plan our hike for the weekend! When we eventually leave Hong Kong, the hiking is what I’ll miss most I think. I just love exploring on the weekends and I’m soooo happy I have Zane to do that with me!

Zane came out to support me on both my half marathons. This was in Sai Kung right before the race, he woke up at 5am on a Saturday to come with me! He also told me during the drive there, “you know, you could come here tomorrow and run the exact same route, and wouldn’t have to pay any money to do it”. Hahaha.

3. People always ask what a typical weekend looks like for us, and it usually consists of trying out a new restaurant one night, hiking and/or having a beach day. Zane has a list of restaurants we’ve tried and restaurants he wants to try, and has ranked them in an excel spread sheet. One of the many reasons why I love him haha. The restaurant scene here is INCREDIBLE and we have so much fun trying out all the new places. For example, a new dumpling house just opened up and we have a reservation there for Saturday night. Almost every weekend we have a new reservation somewhere, and the food is sooo good 99% of the time! We are definitely spoiled here with the food and that is probably what Zane will miss the most when we eventually leave Hong Kong haha.

First order of business was trying all the cute dim sum restaurants. This one is actually our favourite for “cute” dim sum (not to be confused with regular dim sum, we have a different favourite for that!)

4. It took us a surprisingly long time to start exploring the outer islands of Hong Kong, but once we started we kind of went on a roll! We’ve explored almost all of them by now I think and we have our favourites. We love Cheung Chau and want to go back – that is my favourite island for hiking, and the beach set up is great. They also have paddle board rentals there that I really want to try next time we go. Another favourite beach of ours is Cheung Sha on Lantau Island! It’s big, clean, and really empty compared to other Hong Kong beaches. They also have a great little beach-side restaurant. Most of our beach days also involve a Rose lunch, as you do. 😉

We arrived to Cheung Chau island for the bun festival! Insider tip: Don’t waste your money on the buns…. but go for the hiking and the beaches definitely!
Rose on the beach

5. I love my job here! It’s almost funny to think back to how scared I was about not being able to find a job here and get a work visa. I was lucky and got hired a month after being here, and not only did I get a job, but I got one that I love! I love being a web developer and I am challenged daily in my job which is definitely something I need or else I get bored. I feel like I have learned so much in just this year alone and that makes me really happy. I also have great employers, get a lot of vacation days, and have flexible and work-from-home hours. It was such a win. Not only that, but I’ve also started to freelance! I have a freelance gig on the go right now and more coming, and I’m so excited to be growing and expanding in my career. It’s such a relief after so many years of schooling and part-time jobs.

6. Definitely, without a doubt, the best part about living in Hong Kong is living with Zane. After a year of doing long distance, it just feels so amazing to be able to go home to him after a long work day. Moving in together was easy (at least I think so, lets hope Zane also thinks so 😉 ) and creating a life here together has been a dream come true I didn’t even know I had! I can honestly, 100% say that I have not once regretted or questioned my decision to move to Hong Kong with Zane. It has been a life enriching experience and I truly love this city and all the adventures we have here together!

Adding our love lock to the doors outside of Mrs. Pound, one of our favourite fun restaurants. I love to think that our love lock will still be there long after we leave Hong Kong! And I maybe put the name of our future dog on the back of it too….