1 August 2016

Yana J. Robbins - Expat in Hong Kong

Yana J. Robbins - Expat in Hong Kong

Q: Where are you originally from?

A: Ukraine and New York. I moved to NY when I was ten and lived there for over 20 years.


Q: In which city are you currently residing?

A: Hong Kong.


Q: What do you do in your new city?

A: I am a marketing consultant, and founder of 9AMConsulting.com. I also volunteer for local organizations including SPCA. When I am not working, I am tending my rooftop garden where I am growing herbs and tropical plants.


Q: How is the quality of life in your new city in comparison to that of your home city?

A: Each city has it’s pros and cons. Some of the cons include the cost of living, humidity, over-crowdedness. I moved to Hong Kong with a dog, and I’ve been disappointed to see so few parks designated to allow dogs. I can go on with the pros and cons, but still find HK a great city with many things to discover, even after being here for over a year.


Q: How would you rate the healthcare system in which you are currently enrolled?

A: From the few appointments I had with general practictioners, the wait time has been shorter and it’s been much easier to schedule an appointment than in NY. However, I hear that it’s challenging to find quality specialists and they tend to be pricier than in other cities. 


Q: How does the cost of living compare to that of your home city?

A: Hong Kong is more expensive than New York in almost every way. An apartment about two thirds of what I was paying in NY, costs 30%+ more here.


Q: Did you use a relocation company to help you with your move?

A: Yes, they were great!


Q: How easy or difficult was the relocation process?

A: The hardest part of getting settled in Hong Kong (besides unpacking boxes) is finding furniture & other house stuff. There are no big box stores in Hong Kong so one has to go to many smaller stores to find everything. 


Q: Did you move here with any family members?

A: Yes, with my husband. 


Q: What is your favourite mobile app which you use to aid you in your expat life?

A: I may have used a transportation app when I first moved here. I love Memrise, it’s a great app for learning Chinese.


Q: What is one piece of advice you’d like to offer a new expat in your new city?

A: Get involved with the Hong Kong community. Volunteer for an organization you believe in. This will make your time in HK so much more meaningful.