Do you ever find yourself staring out of your office window on a rainy day, daydreaming about moving far away to the sun, sea and sand? Have you ever wondered how feasible it would be to create your ideal life in a completely different cultural plain? How would it feel to be in a new and exciting place which brings alive every sense - mind, body and soul. Sound unrealistic? It doesn’t have to be – and here’s why.
There’s no such thing as unresourceful people, only unresourceful states. In other words, most of life’s seemingly ‘tricky’ scenarios are as easy or as difficult as you make them – and the difference between easy and difficult often hinges, quite simply, on how you exploit the resources around you to propel you from where you are now to where you want to be.
That’s where Gazing Girl comes in.
In a series of short interviews with guys and girls who have moved abroad to France, Spain, New Zealand, Australia and beyond, we hope to give you the tools you need to tackle the big questions – taking you one step closer to making your dreams a reality.
So without further ado, get ready to transport yourself to Hong Kong! Over to you, Ainslie…
Can You Tell Us A Bit About You?
Hey there, I’m Ainslie and I’m 30 years old. In my past life I worked in Marketing and ran a designer handbag business in Australia. That all changed in October 2014 when I moved from Sydney to Hong Kong! I’m now following a new and exciting path as a Travel and Lifestyle blogger and a Life Coach in training!
What Inspired You To Move Abroad?
My husband and I moved to Hong Kong predominantly for his career. This coincided with my sister and my business musings about moving the manufacturing side of our designer handbag label from Sydney to the South of China – so it all made sense at the time! As an aside, I’d travelled to Hong Kong many times for both business and pleasure and I’d always said that if I was to live abroad, I would want to live in Hong Kong!
How Did You Manage The Change?
I’ll admit that it did take me a while to adjust to living in Hong Kong. I left a gorgeous Spring/Summer in Sydney for a grey and quite cold Hong Kong Winter (I don’t deal well with the cold!)
I also found it difficult to settle in as I was in between working on my handbag label and starting my blog and my life coach training – so I felt a bit lost.
But as soon as I started getting out there, connecting with like-minded people and embracing my new life, everything turned around and I now really love my new home.
What’s Been The Biggest Highlight?
This is a tough question! I have had so many highlights! Personally I love the fact that I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and I have grown so much as a person. I have also made so many amazing friends from all over the world who I really love!
The best day I’ve had in Hong Kong was participating in the Stanley International Dragon Boat competition and paddling with the Australian Association of Hong Kong Team. We ended up second in the Mixed Gold Plate Cup much to our surprise!
What’s Been The Biggest Challenge?
Often I struggle with the environment here in Hong Kong. The pollution can often be quite bad and it’s not naturally beautiful like Sydney or other parts of Australia. But there are some really great hikes if you get out of the concrete jungle that is Hong Kong’s Central area.
What’s Your Favourite Aspect Of The Country?
There are so many things I love about Hong Kong. I love the convenience of everything (there is a 7/11 on every corner!) and the public transport is fantastic….nothing is too far away.
There is also so much to see and do here. Eating around the city is a non-stop affair; you could spend the whole day wandering the streets of Soho; visiting random temples in multiple neighbourhoods; venturing to remote islands by ferry and enjoying the amazing light show every night on Victoria Harbour.
Hong Kong is also a fantastic base for travel around Asia. Since living here I have been to Thailand, Vietnam, Macau, Singapore, Shanghai and multiple trips back home. Nothing is too far away and Hong Kong airport is so efficient!
What’s Your Least Favourite Aspect Of The Country?
Sometimes I get “Island Fever” and feel claustrophobic, which means I need to get out. Luckily, (as I previously mentioned), it’s easy to travel all around Asia from Hong Kong.
How Did You Find Making New Friends?
Thankfully I found it really easy to make new connections and form friendships in Hong Kong. But the trick is, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. Just five days into my new life in Hong Kong I attended an Australian Association of Hong Kong event so I could connect with others (now I’m on the Association’s Social Committee). I also joined lots of MeetUp groups, including an Art Jam class, so I could widen my network.
Thankfully friends from home also put me in contact with their own friends here in Hong Kong and my friendship circle grew even wider.
What Would You Do Differently Looking Back?
I would start learning the local language a lot sooner. I plan to start Cantonese lessons in the next month! You can definitely get away with speaking English here in Hong Kong but I want to learn some basic Cantonese so I can converse with the locals and be respectful.
What Advice Would You Give To Someone Thinking About Moving Abroad?
Be open to everything that comes your way and make the most of the amazing experience that living abroad offers you. When things get hard, (and it often does), practice gratitude and know that the challenges will pass. Being pushed out of your comfort zone is highly worth it!
What’s Next For You?
I’m currently half way through my life-coaching qualification and writing my book on how to travel with style and spirit, which I’ll be releasing on Amazon. I also have a few short vacations planned around Asia before the end of year!
How Can We Contact You?
I would love you to visit my blog Starting With A where I help spirited women boldly step up and step out of their cozy little comfort zones so they can live the life that they truly desire. Sign-up to receive my e-Book Wanderlust – Enhance, Enrich & Expand Your Life Through Mindful Travel and check out my Hong Kong based adventures on Facebook and Instagram.
What’s Your Favourite Quote?
To See Hong Kong Come To Life, Check This Out…