Our move is approaching fast, but aside of it being our dream come true, the move brings a lot of worries and anxiety. To most of people we have a decent life in Ireland, with stable job and our own flat therefore we should just stick with life here. However, we decided to move – our families accepted the fact (more or less) and now it’s getting real.
With such a change, we face some problems which we would like to talk to you about today in Sing’s guest post below!
As we are slowly preparing to move back to Hong Kong, we came across few things that got us worried a bit. This move is not exactly like the move back in 2015 from America.
- Have enough saving!
Needless to say this is the most difficult problem in the whole situation because to have enough savings, it means you will have to give up some of your expenses, holiday and eat outs. Not only you still need to pay rent or mortgage for the place that you are living, you also need to come up with down payment or first 3 months of rent before you start your new job there. Oh that is assuming you already have a new job waiting for you.
What is enough, when can you feel really comfortable that this amount will be sufficient?
- Secure your source of income
Unlike our move from America to Ireland, moving back to Hong Kong also involve in finding a new job. This is where Momzilla worries the most! To her, give up our jobs here and find a new job in Hong Kong worries her the most because basically we are giving up all our foundations we built for the last 3 years in Ireland and start from scratch in Hong Kong, not exactly the most cost efficient place to live in the World. Not only it is hard to find a job there, even if company wants to conduct an interview, Skype interview is not usually their preference, not to mention you also don’t have much idea about your starting date because they are all tied to the list of items here. This is why having enough saving is very import since it is pretty impossible to have a seamless job change.
- Prepare the next place to live
I notice a lot of the items are chicken and egg questions. How do you rent a place to live while you are not there physically? To make it worse, how do you rent a place without job and bank account? Luckily, we don’t need to worry about the place per se, but our home requires renovation before we move, and we can’t start it while the tenants are still renting it. Once the contract is finished, it’s another month-two before it’s renovated – what about in meantime? Where do we live, should we have a short rent apartment? Won’t it stress the cat too much with all the move?
- Got a bank account?
Another chicken and egg problem here, but before I start I must declare that we are not millionaires that have that much savings in the bank account. Otherwise major banks like HSBC or Citi can set up your new accounts even before you move! Since we are moving back to my home town, I do have a bank account kept there for long time. For people that don’t have a bank account there, you will again run into the proof of address issue. We faced this problem everywhere thanks to international money laundry criminals, which makes opening a bank account very difficult. It was very troublesome to open a bank account with a foreign address because it comes to tax residency. Unless you are an expat, be expected to run into the infinite loop of application and approval.
- Any visa problem?
I have read an article few years ago and one quote stuck in my mind – “Chinese people are either doing visa interview or on the way to visa application”. You might think this is the thing that worries most of the people the most but thankfully, EU and Hong Kong residency via family reunification are relatively easy comparing to popular countries like US, Canada and Australia, kudos to the regulations! Unless your spouse is a mainland China resident, there are very few restrictions to file for residency. As long as you have a normal job, some savings and a place to live, the government won’t cause too much trouble and the application is almost free when you compare it to the working visa in America. However, it still takes time to process and we are looking for ways to file it while still being in Ireland.
- What else left to sell?
We wish to take our car back home but it is simply too expensive to keep a car in Hong Kong and we don’t really need a car there. The only uncertainty here is we don’t know what price to sell, which requires some research to find out how much to put. Since we don’t have a garage so there won’t be a garage sale. Turns out I have to sell my guitar because the shipping cost is too high for something this large.
The downside of not having a car in Hong Kong is that we have to hand carry all the household items when we move back. It seems like we are leaving all our past life behind (aside of Biscuit the cat).
- Family support!
If you read one of our post before you should remember many Asian people do think western countries are much better than their home. Therefore the same think applies to the Momzilla. Asking her to see her son giving up the path to American green card and Irish citizenship must be very painful! It took me a lot of persuasion for her to believe we will have a better life in Asia and even at this point she keeps talking about how we could you buy a big house with garden in Ireland. What frustrates me the most is I don’t need and don’t like gardening. Both of us grew up in big city, so park and nature is for weekend only. Perhaps it sounds like a first world problem, we don’t want to mentally feel like 60 years old. All our Irish colleagues talk about repairing their roofs or cleaning fallen leaves. I absolutely hate it, but I guess this is something Momzilla will never understand.
To some of you it may sound like a first world problems, and they probably are – but we all have things that bother us more or less. We want to make our dream come true, not just talk about it and regret not trying in future.
Closer to the move, we will probably see more smaller or bigger problems, but I hope at least people who have the same/similar worries can see they are not alone. There’s a lot to consider, but if you can at least try – do it!
What is your opinion on leaving a stable life to move to a new place? Would you do it yourself? What is your advice to those who are still wondering what they should do? Let us know in the comment section! We would love to read your comments!