Some chicken soup for your soul before leaving Hong Kong ⦁ 離開香港前要飲嘅心靈雞湯

Homes beneath the Lion Rock in Hong Kong

Nick, born in the 1970s, plans to migrate to the UK using BNO visas in February/March 2021. Given his kids do not have BNO passports, not moving to the UK means he would take away the opportunity of becoming British away from his two daughters. It will be an emotional goodbye to the city he lived in all his life, and he’s now preparing himself and his family mentally for this big move.

How does the idea of immigration make you feel? ⦁ 你對移民有乜嘢諗法

It makes me a bit sad. My emotions are going through four different stages:

  1. Blank (空白期): This is when I saw everything from a distance. Many who were not thinking of moving are starting to study the possibility because of how affordable the BNO visa is. It is an opportunity that many don’t want to miss for the next generation.
  2. Exploration (探索期): This is when I started to find out more about the UK, and figured out what cities might work for my family. I also started to think about the cultural differences. It is an important stage, because it really made me wonder if I could move to a new city.
  3. Preparation (準備期): Now I am preparing for the actual move and dealing with my assets in Hong Kong, my mandatory provident fund (MPF), tax clearance and insurance plans, for example. More importantly, I am beginning to look after the emotional health of those who are moving with me (my wife and two daughters), and those who will be left behind (my parents and in-laws).
  4. Farewell: This will be in February/March. In preparation for this, I plan to do three things to bid farewell to my beloved city.

What are the three things you will do before you leave Hong Kong? ⦁ 離港前你會做嘅三樣嘢

I will visit the Lion Rock. Hong Kongers will know what this place means to us.

Get on the ding ding (tram) and experience the whole journey: From Chai Wan to Kennedy Town.

Finally, I want to take a family photo with everyone in it.

How do you explain to your parents who are not moving with you? 你會點同長老解釋你嘅決定

I told them first why we wanted to leave Hong Kong – It is for the kids.

I also explained why we wanted to send the kids to the UK now, not later. Since they are still in primary school, moving to the UK with them now means we are able to help them shape their lifestyles in a new city. By the time they get to secondary school or university, it will be harder for them to adjust to a new lifestyle.

Let’s look forward , what is the first thing you want to do when you settle down? ⦁ 喺英國安定之後你想做啲乜

When everything is settled in the UK, I want to take my family on a road trip around the country. I did this with my school friends when I studied there. I want my daughters to experience that.

Where do you plan to reside? ⦁ 你打算去邊度住

We came to England for one week back in August to do some research. We visited Reading and Bristol, and decided to go for Reading. Bristol is nice, spacious and cheaper to live in, but in terms of schools we prefer the options in Reading. I also think we need a plan B – what if Reading does not work out for our daughters? In that case, we are close enough to try London.

Image: Ken Cheung on Unsplash

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