A Farewell to Canada

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Today’s blog post is a departure from the usual. Instead of talking about style and travelling, I am dedicating this post to a life event of mine. I have never discussed my personal life on this blog before, but since I’m at a turning point, I would like to share my story with you all. Those of you who follow me on my social media platforms probably know by now that I have recently left Canada and relocated to Hong Kong. I have landed for about a week now and and the fact that I’ve moved to a different country is still surreal to me. Because I’ve been a globe trotter for the past few months, this really feels like another extension of my travels. But nope, isn’t another trip of mine – this is for real. I’m here, in Hong Kong, to stay.

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These photos were taken on top of the Stawamus Chief a couple days before I left Vancouver. “The Chief” is a slightly intense hike but the most beautiful views of the British Columbia can be found on top. I never made my way here during my six years of living in Vancouver, so I figured I had to rectify that before leaving.  I’m no expert with the outdoors, but fortunately my super experienced friend Ada (@ada_ventures) was able to guide me on this venture!

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The peak of The Chief was the perfect place for me to indulge in Canadian scenery one last time. Can nature get any more beautiful?

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My decision to move to Hong Kong was in the making for about a year. At this time last year, I felt as if my life had hit a dead end in Vancouver. I had a comfortable home, I had a car, I had graduated, and I was working at a decent paying job, but I was not happy. After I graduated in Vancouver, I was not able to establish a life that I wanted for myself. I wasn’t content with my career direction, I didn’t have the personal life I wanted, and worst of all, I felt as if my life wasn’t going anywhere. I deeply began to consider if Vancouver is really the right place for me to be. Then, one day at Hot Yoga class, my instructor mentioned the quote: “If you don’t like where you are, then move. You are not a tree”. At that moment that it hit me – it was time for me to move.

Out of all the cities I’ve traveled in the world, there are only two that I continually wish to keep returning to. London is one, Hong Kong is the other. These two cities energize me and make me all googly-eyed. Out of the two, moving to Hong Kong seemed much more realistic because cost of living is more affordable and my competitive edge in the local job market is higher. Over the past year I spent countless hours doing research and planning for making my move, all while being thrifty and saving as much money as possible. Realizing that I had the ability to change my life made me feel so excited and empowered.

While many of my close friends supported my decision to move, I also received some negative responses as well. Warnings that I heard were: “Your living space will be smaller than my bathroom”, “People in Hong Kong aren’t nice”, “You’ll be working 12 hour days on weekends”…the list goes on. Yes, these warnings may very well be true. But, I believe that everyone’s experiences are individual and what’s good or bad is very subjective. Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the world, but I wasn’t happy there. You can be miserable living in a mansion and you can be happy living in a shack. By no means am I saying that my move to Hong Kong will be a guaranteed success, but I’m thrilled to be living on the edge. Even if things don’t work out in the end, I’ll always be proud that I tried.

Even though I just drew a close to my life in Canada, this country will still always hold a special place in my heart. After all, it was my home for exactly twenty years. Canada was a great environment for me to grow up and I am more Canadian than anything else. Canadian culture has taught me to be laid-back, gracious, and accepting of differences – I will carry these positive traits with me for the rest of my life. Now, I bid farewell to Canada as I welcome a whole new chapter of my life. The road ahead is unclear for me, but I’m more determined than ever to make things work out. I look forward to sharing my stories of struggle and success in Hong Kong with you all! Until next time.

I’m wearing:

Top : Uniqlo | Shorts : Old Navy | Shoes : Adidas | Sunglasses : Opening Ceremony (sold out, similar styles here) | Watch : Diesel


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  • Incredible pics !!!

    xx

    http://www.thetrendysurfer.com

    • Justin L

      Thank you Ivan :)

  • Deborah Poh

    Firstly, gorgeous pictures of the Chief, I’m glad you did that instead of Garibaldi Lake because that hike wasn’t fun at all and I hear that the Chief is much more “fun” and picturesque on the way up. As usual, you capture the scenery beautifully and I loved reading about your life change as well! It’s so amazing that you didn’t settle for mediocrity and am willing to push yourself beyond your comfort zone to look for something more! And you’re doing while you’re young and determined, before you get stuck and settle for less… While HK is indeed known for being stressful, claustrophobic, and blah blah blah, I think it’s an amazing city to start life anew! My brother lived there for several years working for a fashion magazine; while he didn’t enjoy the long hours and stress, he did live the life there in general. When I visited in August, I fell in love with the food, the people, and the sights (not to mention the cheap prices)! When I go back perhaps next year, I hope we can meet up in person and I can get a firsthand account from you of what it’s like over there 😛 I also have another friend like you who recently moved over to work for Lane Crawford, she is happy with her progress even though it’s hard to make the adjustment work hours-wise! I’m sure you can handle it though! I’m gonna be so jealous of your foodie pictures…

    Good luck Justin!!

    xx Debbie

    http://www.whatdoffydoes.com

    • Deborah Poh

      Oh gosh I have so many typos in that comment above, hope you can understand my gibberish! haha!

      • Justin L

        Thanks so much for your support, Debbie! I really appreciate it! I agree that the work load in HK is super tough but I feel that the lifestyle here is more rewarding in the end. I know I will miss Vancouver though! Let me know when you swing by again!

  • Tracy
    • Justin L

      Thanks Tracy!

  • Wishing you exciting happy times in your new home! Looking forward to seeing photos

    • Justin L

      Thanks Kitt! Appreciate it!

  • Perfect view! Love it 😀
    Greets, Nabil 😉

    http://www.nabilunity.com/

    • Justin L

      Thanks Nabil!

  • Wow. Big change. Good luck!

  • Gregoryno6

    I did the big relocate myself a long time ago. I stayed inside the national borders – from Melbourne to Perth – but it was still a hell of a jolt.
    Good luck with the change. Apart from that, aii I can say is – when the going gets tough, remember what led you to Hong Kong in the first place.