After 17 years in Asia, Ana and her partner decided it was time to move back to Europe and spend more time with their families. We caught up with Ana to find out what it was like leaving Hong Kong and share any tips they learnt along the way.
Now that you are settled into London, what advice would you give to anyone planning their own?
I have a few tips to share! First of all – start planning your move early!
I would highly recommend using a professional company for your relocation to ensure your belongings are well packed to avoid disappointment. They will also help you with the documents required for shipping your items.
Don’t forget a proof of address. Get your bank to send you a letter to your address in your new country. For our move to the UK it was quite challenging for me to get a proof of address so it delayed my bank account opening, which in turn made it impossible to sign for a phone plan, apartment lease, etc.
Make sure you go to the post office to have your address transferred.
What was your packing story? Did you discover any helpful tips?
We have some nice antique wooden furniture and big mirrors. Before the crew came to our place, we looked at everything and decided what to take and what to donate. We just decided that everything that had not been used for the past two years would go to the donation box. Then we asked for some boxes to pack our clothes and books. We were flying out on the same day we had our packing so it was a bit hectic. Make sure you tell the crew what to pack!
Tell us how did you pack your stuff?
I went through all my drawers and cabinets to see if I can donate anything. Sorted out food and donated my beloved spices, dry food, cans, wine etc. before the pack date.
I also looked up charities in advance and contacted them to see what I can donate.
I used stickers to mark things that I don’t want to pack to signal to the crew that I want to donate/dispose of those items.
I make sure I have some cash with me to tip the crew, and also nice to have water and other soft drinks for the crew.
Since moving to London, do you feel settled into your new home?
The apartment is nice, spacious and comfortable but we haven’t settled in yet. It is a bit challenging to adjust after 17 years spent in Asia! Even though we grew up in Europe, coming back and trying to adjust after being away for so long is difficult. This is a very big culture shock for us.
Is there anything you would recommend to anyone thinking about moving to London?
Start with the Sandeman’s walking tours. It’s nice to discover the city and hear about its history, culture and little anecdotes. When you have people visiting and you don’t know the city yet, it’s a great way to discover it together. Download the TodayTix app to get cheaper tickets to shows and see what shows are out there. Get the Time Out magazine to find out about all the fun stuff to do. Before you relocate, check out the real estate’s websites to see start arranging viewings as soon as you arrive.
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