I wanna talk about my experience of moving out and living on my own. Moving out to live on your own is not very common in Hong Kong. Many people still choose to live with their parents even though they have a decent job and they’re already at their thirties. Many of them would stay with their parents until they get married. There are several reasons behind – firstly, Hong Kong’s rent is expensive, many people would rather save up more money to purchase an apartment instead of renting one. Secondly, the Chinese traditional value of family is that the parents are the ones who brought you up. When you become an adult, you should also take good care of your parents and you should spend more time to be with them. And of course there are people who are still dependent on their parents for food, clothing, household chores, etc.
When I tell people about the idea of moving out, many people’s reaction is like, “what do your parents say?” because they assume the parents would not like their children to leave them. Well I don’t know if my parents like it but I can tell you my parents support and respect my decision. They think it is good for me to try and live on my own and then I would know it is the best to stay with my family.
The most important reason for independent living is to save the travelling time to work. It used to take me one hour fifteen minutes to travel to work from my previous living place. From my new apartment, it just takes me thirty minutes so I saved forty-five minutes’ travelling time. I don’t have to get up so early and I save two-third of my travelling cost. It does not only save my time to travel for work but also from most of the places in Hong Kong. In addition, I gain my personal space and freedom by independent living. I make my own decision all the time, I do not have to say whether I would go home for dinner, I can invite my friends to come up and stay late.
Of course there are some trade-offs in living on your own. If you want to rent an apartment, there are lots of preparatory works (work) to do. You have to keep visiting the apartments to search for your ideal one. You have to negotiate with the landlord about the price, furniture inclusion, who is responsible for the maintenance of the furniture and equipments (equipment). My experience was that after we moved into the apartment, it was not until the kitchen cupboard was soaked with water that we found out there was water leakage in the kitchen sink.
Money is the main issue in living on your own. You have to be responsible for all the expenses, for example, the rent, electricity, gas, water, telephone, internet bills, etc. Therefore you’ve got to be well prepared and save up for your bills. Although I find my transportation time much shorter, the saved time is spent on other things, such as cooking and some other household chores. I think preparing and cooking the food do occupy a significant portion of my time, therefore I always try to make simple meals. On the other hand, I have to regularly tidy up my apartment and wash my clothes, so it doesn’t really save much of my time after all.
Now everything is settled down, I’m getting used to my new life and I am enjoying it. I feel that moving out makes it easier for me to strike a balance between my work, my social life, my study and my family. It may be troublesome but it may worth.
Here Jocelyn talks about moving away from her family to live in her own flat. Listen then try the activities.