After 16 years of living abroad, Leon Hulme shares his experience about his recent move with his wife and son to Malaysia.
1. How did you settle in to your new home?
I was working four days a week in KL and one day a week in Bangkok for the first month so during that time I looked at many apartments on the evenings and sent pictures to my wife who was still in Bangkok closing things off. Thankfully home search is what we do so I got to see the best properties available within our budget. My wife trusts my taste, mostly! She then decided from my top three choices by looking at photos and videos.
2. What has been the best thing about deciding to move?
A new challenge for me in my career and a new experience for my wife and son.
3. What do you love about living in Malaysia?
I enjoy the work, many things are the same and many things are different, so it’s comfortable in some ways but different enough to be challenging, it’s a good balance. I also like to cycle, I can ride out of my front door and ride for 70 kilometers on quiet tree-lined roads, although there are quite a few hills!
4. What’s been the biggest challenge?
My wife and I are used to moving but this was the first time for our son, he has had the same friends and been going to the same school for six years so we were a little nervous as to how he would adapt and cope with the change, he wasn’t quite himself for the first month or so, but then quickly settled in, made new friends and it’s like he’s always lived in Malaysia now, I believe he will benefit from the experience.
5. How have you managed homesickness?
Thankfully we have not experienced homesickness, home is where my wife and son are. I haven’t lived in my hometown of Birmingham for 16 years!
6. What are the biggest changes in Malaysia since the last you were here?
Biggest changes are probably traffic, the economy and political situation, unfortunately these things have declined since I was here last.
7. What’s your favourite thing about Malaysia?
The people, especially those in my office. I started my career in Malaysia back in 2000, thankfully many of the people that were there then are still here now and it’s felt like coming home to family.
1. How did you manage to adjust to moving away from your friends?
Meeting parents of children at my son’s school is always a good way to meet new people, and I have already made some great new friends that way, I also had friends in Bangkok who had friends in Kuala Lumpur who I’ve met, there is also a large Japanese population here, I met someone a few months ago that lives in the same building as us who I went to University with in Tokyo, it’s a small world!
2. What did you find most challenging about moving?
How quickly we needed to move, there are always more things to settle than meet the eye and moving this time for the first time with our son meant there was more to do, it was all a bit of a rush!
3. What advice would you give to other young people moving?
I’m not sure, I’m not young! But I’d say be positive, open minded, outgoing and go for it! Ganbatte as we say in Japan!