My International Move to Hong Kong!

Dragons Back Hike

Dragons Back Hike

It’s been 1.5 years! I can’t believe I am still in Hong Kong. What was once a “1 year assignment” has blossomed into the life I’ve always wished for! Opportunities like the ones I have experienced don’t just fall on your lap, you have to work for it. You can dream for it, and leave it at that. Or, you can dream for it, and make it happen. With a little luck, huge blessings, and A LOT of work, I am living the life many hope for. Because many ask, let me share my story with you.

At 27, I was comfortable. I owned a condo in Canada, had a great social life, and had amazing family and friends. I was content. But, there was always something missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it then, but I knew I needed more.

After digging deeper into this feeling, it became very clear that I was BORED. I was content, but bored. Annoyed by Canadian winters, tired of the routined rat race, and irritated with status quo. It was evident I needed a change in scenery.

So, I set out for it! I did A LOT of research and I realized for a smooth and secure move abroad, it would have to be with a company. I looked at my current employer and knew I just had to leave. It was a great company, but, a Canadian company. And I wanted out of Canada. So I started looking for a new job! One that was global and promoted international moves!

When I set my mind to it, I found a new job! During the interview stage they mentioned they were keen on moving people abroad, specifically to Asia. Once they said that, it was a done deal. I needed this role. They didn’t have full time roles at the time, only contract positions. So, I quit my very comfortable full time job (where I had just received a promotion, and LOVED the company) for … a contract position :-/

Many questioned me at the time and thought I was crazy. But, I saw the potential so I hopped on it. I had a mortgage… I had no real savings… I had debt. All logic led to me staying with my secure employer. But just the idea of POSSIBLY being able to move to Asia had me sold.

Within 3 months of killing it in my new position, I was quickly made permanent.  I worked so hard those 3 months. This was on top of managing 20 clients through personal training! I worked 18 hours a day, all while going through a pretty traumatic situation at home. But, I was resilient, I persevered. And I kept my eye on my goal.

Once I was made permanent, I had those developmental conversations with my manager. Every conversation was me hinting (blatantly) that I wanted international opportunities. I networked with folks out here in Asia, I put myself out there, I prayed on it, and before I knew it, 1 year into my new position, they were relocating me to Hong Kong.

Since I’ve moved here I’ve grown so much. I quickly see that this was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Period. The benefits have been amazing. I have met the some incredible people, I have learned so much about myself, and I have seen some of the most amazing places in the world.

Hong Kong is so fascinating. I’m in love with my city. It’s vibrant and full of things to do. It’s the only place where one minute you are among thousands of people hustling and bustling between skyscrapers, and the next you find yourself surrounded by the most glorious set of mountains, hiking trails to your favourite beach.


The Magical Hong Kong Skyline

The Magical Hong Kong Skyline

Tai Long Wan Beach

Tai Long Wan Beach

Hong Kong  gives  me the opportunity to travel – really often and for a ¼ of the price I would pay anywhere else. Thailand, Cambodia, Bali, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore – all within arms reach.  

Prior to coming to Hong Kong I had traveled to 8 countries in 28 years. Within one year of being here, I have seen 15 new countries/cities and still have another 15 I’d like to see!

Hong Kong has a community vibe where everyone is kind and welcoming. Everyone is a socialite. We work hard, but definitely play harder.

This wonderful city caters to my lifestyle too. With markets at every corner, I can get fresh produce minutes away from my flat. There is a cool, unique fitness centre on every block, and the outdoor activities here are endless.  

The financial benefits are the best I’ve ever experienced – going from a 45% tax rate to a 15% tax rate allowed me to clear off my debt in 6 months (where it normally would have taken me 3 years!) Because there is a strong demand for talent out here, we are paid well. Between the tax benefits and salary increases, my income has doubled since being out here. I’m young and able to grind out here while i’m still young and able!

So there you have it! For those that were following me before and all of a sudden saw me living it up in Hong Kong – there is my story! I encourage you, if you want it, just make it happen. Don’t wake up, 10 years later wishing you would have taken the leap. Just do it. Find a way. It will be the best decision you have ever made.

My dream to live abroad turned into a life full of abundance. I am no longer just content. I refuse to ever be “content” again. I am whole. I am happy. I have purpose. This is what living is all about.

Tameika Gentles