Eight years here, an opportunity has become available to transfer and it's been surprisingly difficult to make a decision.
I'm going to go out a bit on a limb here... but I want to share and get feedback.
We're now PR, so this is an opportunity we started exploring some time ago (previously, we were too close to getting PR to consider leaving). These past 9 months have been so pleasant for us, working from home with peace and quiet, so we're seeing Hong Kong in a better light lately (which unfortunately won't be the long-term reality here).
The downsides of leaving:
- I now have a very good job that we can comfortably live off. It's taken me a few years to finally get to this point, but granted I only have/will have temporary contracts for the foreseeable future. Professionally, it's not my "dream job", and I still want to develop/evolve.
- Due to the travel restrictions this year, my partner has found a new interest in a trading project that he wants to devote more time to. He's ready for a career break, and with my job here, this would be pretty comfortable to take.
- We have a lovely home. I have a garden I've been nurturing. We'd have to take our cats, who may not do well with a move.
- We still want to travel more in Asia, especially China (if it's safe?). I still want to learn more Chinese. We feel life here is maybe in some way more interesting. We don't want our adventure to end!
- We get a paid move back to Europe and a guaranteed salary there. We'd be "safe" from the riffraff that's been going on here. Our lives would have stability. While in Europe, we could explore finding a home somewhere cheaper as a long-term base.
- I speak the language for the most part. I have some friends there already, and we'd be closer to friends/family. I feel culturally, I know how to navigate this, but I suspect the culture will be a bit stifling after Asia.
- The country has a landscape we know we love and have always wanted to go back to. We would never be bored on weekends, although we'd likely do different things apart from each other.
- We're tired of the hot, long summers here. We feel quite bored here. We've hiked every trail, kayaked, and now gone to every single tourist spot we can imagine. Personally, and even maybe professionally, there may be new options to explore there.
- While I like our HK apartment, the commute is very taxing. After moving, we'd be in a smaller town and we'd be able to have a shorter commute (bicycle, walking). There's also a kind of instability in our current neighborhood, with the government almost continually prodding to develop; also many never-going-to-be-resolved local issues that are frustrating to live with on a daily basis (e.g. illegal parking).
- Cheese. Civility.
The downsides of moving to this location:
- It's equally as expensive as Hong Kong. We don't think a "career break" there would be financially viable in the long-term (unless I magically got an equally well-paying job). This means, it'd have to be a little temporary place for us for ~5 years.
- I am unsure if I can secure an equally good job there. I can in fact stay in HK indefinitely until I secure something (if that's possible from abroad?). This would mean either a long-distance relationship or going there and being yet again a trailing spouse. Not sure I have much more patience for this.
- My partner feels unsure about the new job role. It may be a "dumbing down" from his current position, although either staying or going should eventually lead to a promotion. It may be a more interesting, engaging position in different ways, though. No one can say. It's a risk.
I guess that's about it... What do you say? Stay, go?
Another idea I had was to buy a flat now in HK, secure a property at 2020 prices so we could come back in later and enjoy 2020 prices... but alas, not feasible I think. If we come back to Asia I think we'd like to go somewhere with either bigger mountains or cooler weather, like Taiwan or Japan.