Should I stay or should I go…?

This is a question that has been playing on my mind for quite some time now. In my mind there are a lot of factors to influence my final decision.

Reasons for taking the position permanently and staying in Hong Kong

  • It’s a fabulous opportunity to work live in a foreign city with a real buzz to it, especially after 5 years of working in Bracknell.
  • The Hong Kong office I work with is friendly and it will look fantastic on the CV.
  • It’s only a 3 year contract – after that nothing is certain, so I could return to the UK then.
  • It’s a new challenge, and I wouldn’t want to look back in 10-20 years and be thinking ‘if only…’.
  • The holidaying opportunities in the area.
  • I get to play hockey on a water based astro (ok, this is probably not a strong reason if I’m honest).

Reasons for not taking the position in Hong Kong (or more correctly reasons for returning to the UK)

  • It’s a big risk. Renting out the flat won’t cover my mortgage unfortunately, so any salary I have in Hong Kong will have to cover the shortfall. The prospect of clearing my flat of all it’s crap prior to renting it out is also not exactly something I would look forward to.
  • Any property I have in Hong Kong will be small, in comparison to my place back in Wokingham.
  • Cooking. Somewhat bizarrely, I miss not being to just rustle something up quickly. Kitchens here are minimal to say the least which means I don’t have quite the same flexibility for cooking. Any longer term/more permanent flat will have to have a better kitchen than I have currently.
  • Pubs and friends back in Wokingham. There’s not quite the same pub atmosphere here, what with it being a city of 7.6 million people, that’s kind of to be expected. Typically evenings out will be planned in advance rather than spur of the moment.

After a lot of consideration, and mental arithmetic to try and figure out costs, how much of a shortfall on the mortgage, and how much I’d be earning per month I’ve come to a decision regarding the future… I’m going to give it a go in Hong Kong. Really, at the end of the day, there wasn’t that much a decision to be made. Opportunities like this don’t come up this often that often, and as one friend put it to me, I’d have to be mad in the head to turn it down. With the decision made, I’m now realising just how much I’ll have to sort out in as little time as possible – but hopefully my employer will be sympathetic and make this transition as easy as possible.

The good news is that I’ll get shipping costs paid, and I’ll also be back in the UK at least once per year whilst I’m here. So, you don’t get rid of me entirely. Now all I’ll have to do is plan my farewell tour… If over the course of the next 2.5 – 3 years anyone finds themselves over in this part of the world, please do get in touch and I’ll see about providing local delights such as chickens feet.

6 Responses to “Should I stay or should I go…?”

  1. Pete Says:

    Good choice Jon. Honestly, did Bracknell ever have a chance? 🙂

  2. johniebg Says:

    Good stuff Mr Ervine.

    PS I was out in Wokiingham the other week, nice to see the chaps an’all but it was like Groundhog day.

  3. Bill Lee Says:

    Where is the air worse?
    Do get to Taipei sometime, just up the ‘road’

    Visit Shanghai too and Zhongcanguan district in Beijing.

    And do get out your map of HK and see all of it each week, checking off each parish in NT and so on.

    Read SCMP and HK Standard daily. See French’s blog at the IHT

  4. Jonny E Says:

    Bill Lee – Now that I’m here for the longer term, I will definitely be trying to take in some of the places mentioned above. First stop will be somewhere in mainland China, either Shenzhen or another border town. There’s also plenty more of HK to see too. And beaches to visit. SCMP I’m not overly impressed with, although the sports section isn’t too bad.

    Pete – I tell you, that waterball feature is strangely hypnotic and alluring…

    John – Don’t worry, Groundhog Day will return some time in August when I get back to leave.

  5. Chris Neal Says:

    The right choice Jonny, you know it makes sense! Best of luck there and I’ll stay up to date with your adventures. Post a piccy of your new watch when you get it!

  6. Stuart Says:

    Good stuff! That means we’ll be out to visit again!

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