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Moving to US, looking for some... help, reassurance?!

  1. #1
    pipinhk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Tseung Kwan O, NT

    Moving to US, looking for some... help, reassurance?!

    We will be leaving HK in April next year and moving to the US (Nashville)

    Originally from the UK I am actually more nervous about living in the US than I was about living in HK.

    Might seem strange but there are so many familiar things here that make it feel far less foreign than you might expect. My local Park n Shop is now stocking Waitrose products which is the supermarket I shopped in at 'home', we drive on the 'right' side of the road, shops like Zara, H&M, Mothercare, all little material things which made moving here not seem like that big a deal.

    The very nature of HK means that as people come and go so often there is a general welcome feeling whenever you go somewhere new as most people have been 'new' pretty recently too.

    I know all the massive advantages we will have, a much larger house, cars, a schooling system that doesn't make me want to jump off the nearest bridge, and I am ready for the move, we are looking forward to so many things but I am still apprehensive.

    I know many mums on here are from the US, can you tell me the other things to look forward to?

    I know I'm being slightly irrational but I actually have no idea what to expect when we settle in our new home.


  2. #2
    elle is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    hk south side

    The people in Nashville are friendly and welcoming! While it is a southern city with many people who were born and bred there, there are also a lot if others who have moved from all over (admittedly mostly from all over the US) for the music scene. It is a more vibrant, cultural place (in my opinion) than most other US cities (NYC being the big exception). It isn't too big, but there are so many places within a few hours by car and so so many within a few hours by plane.

    You have great live music to look forward to, and big parks (, four lovely seasons, with leaves that change colors in the fall, snow (and all the fun winter games that come with it) in the winter. You won't have Waitrose food (unfortunately - it is good) but you will have an abundance of fresh local fruits and veges and the gazillion food options available in America - there is so much more cuisine choice than in HK. You can have a big garden with flowers and will probably have neighbors who will offer you iced tea in the summer.

    You will also have a lot of shopping options. Not sure if Zara and H&M are in Nashville, but they are definitely in the US. You won't lack in similar retail options. Mothercare is great - but you will have other one stop for all things baby type shops. Everything Mothercare carries (different brands, but same types of products) will be available at your local Target (or Walmart if you want to go a little cheaper). And, everything is so much less expensive than in HK.

    Oh, and your home will probably be spacious and beautiful and you will be able to make it your own style so much easier than in HK - with all the Home Depot-type (like B&Q only bigger) places and garden centers around.

    Last edited by elle; 11-21-2011 at 03:01 PM.
    pipinhk, thanka2 and rebekah like this.

  3. #3
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point

    Wah noooooo!! :( :(

    I'm slightly jealous - have been to the US a few times and love so many things about there. It really is a very beautiful, diverse place and has great shopping, I think. Awesome sales - it's not uncommon to find things for 90+% off!! I had no problem driving there (on the wrong side of the road), a little bit of adjusting as I would drive too close to the right of my lane. But when I went back to Australia after 5 months there, I was used to the wrong side of the road and multiple times ended up driving on the right! Fortunately it was all in parking lots and small streets so there was no harm done ;)

    You will love it, I'm sure!! I'd love if my hubby was relocated to the US... although we'd probably be broke not too long after with all the "cheap" shopping that I'd do ;) ;)

    pipinhk likes this.

  4. #4
    erina320's Avatar
    erina320 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2011

    I grew up in Atlanta, Ga which isn't to far off (by US standards) from Nashville. Tennessee is a beautiful state with all four seasons. You'll be able to enjoy a winter with snow that isn't to extreme or long.

    Plus, you know the language.

    People will love your accent!

    Get ready for grocery overload! You'll have more options than you ever thought possible. It is really easy to find what you need... It's all at Wal-Mart or Target! And things/ EVERYTHING is SO much cheaper there!!

    No pollution (comparitively to Hong Kong).

    Green grass. Big trees. Big houses. Big cars.

    A shorter flight to England should you ever go back for a visit.

    A fresh start.

    A new adventure.

    Have fun! :-)

    rani and rebekah like this.

  5. #5
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hong Kong

    I am jealous too. My grand plan is to move to the States but I have to wait for the right job to come up for my husband. We are actually from the UK too but my husband desperately does not want to move back. The US is his compromise. I am half American, though have not lived there for longer than a few months; have visited a lot.

    I only really know the west coast, but I'm sure a lot of the things I like are nation wide. FABULOUS supermarkets - my favourite thing. Cost of living is really low. People are friendly. Beautiful scenery, wide open spaces, great things to do with children, clean air. And of course, customer service (!!) and having plumbers, electricians, postmen, builders, delivery men, telephone companies, electricity companies, hairdressers etc. etc. etc. understand what you mean.

    rebekah likes this.

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Tennessee is great. Actually I think most states in the United States are wonderful in some way or another. Americans are really friendly people--they may be even "too friendly" for you. I have a few close British friends from when I first moved to HK over ten years ago and they found Americans to be extremely laid-back, cheerful and open to others--they said it was a lot different than the UK and HK. There aren't many "social walls" up with most American people--they're curious about people from other countries and enjoy diversity.

    You will have a lot more selection for shopping and price range than you will here in HK. And if you get homesick for products from your country you will be able to find some niche market company that carries some of it--even if only online.

    The wide-open space will probably take you by surprise at first and as others have aid, you'll have much better air quality, less congestion and a slower pace of life which gives you a chance to really reflect and enjoy things. There are lots of kid-friendly options in the States. It's normal for hotels and restaurants to cater to the whole family (child seats, child meals, special deals, toys, coloring placemats, free dessert for the kids--all those sorts of things). There are a lot of amusement parks and family activities (corn mazes, pumpkin patches, mini-golf, water slide parks, haunted houses at Halloween and everything else you could imagine).

    Schools in the States for children can be really fun and truly educational. It's much more hands-on learning than in HK and as you said, even if you choose to go to a private school you won't usually have to be on a never-ending wait-list and pay your life savings to do so. Road trips in the States are fun and so going on holiday doesn't require that you necessarily leave the country in order to see something new. Customer service in the States is excellent. You'll have lots of friends in no time. Enjoy!

    rebekah likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #7
    mllau is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Hong Kong

    Hi I am an American (born in Asia). Tennessee is one of my favorite states. They're right 4 seasons (you will love the beautiful Fall weather there!), fresh air (I miss that!), big spaces, lots of outdoor places and activities to go and to do, wide open roads (better enjoy all the American roadtrips!), big supermarkets mostly one-stop-shop, you can stock on basic needs and buy at stores like CostCo which sell in bulk, lots of farmers market (which we don't get much in HK!), friendly Southern people (and they're right very curious of English folks!), people greeting you good morning and good afternoon and how are you during your morning/afternoon walks on the park. You don't have to worry about baby stores. We have Babies R Us, Toys R Us that are bigger and better in the US. Target, JC Penney, Macy's, Sears, TJ Maxx, Carters, Osh Kosh, lots of outlet stores to shop for baby clothes and the big sales are so much fun during the big holidays like Thanksgiving, Memorial weekend, etc (sales up to 50-75% yep!). We shop for baby stuff in the US because it is so much cheaper there. You will have more options than you'll ever seen in your life when it comes to shopping, schools, activities, holidays. A lot of Americans stay in the country for the holidays because it's such a big country and there's so much places to go!

    Don't worry about the driving. My husband is British and made so many traffic errors, but just put on your best English accent and they will let you go (ha ha it is true!)...

    And if Zara or H&M is not in Nashville it won't be the end of your shopping life. Nashville is such a fun city...who knows you might even bump into Nicole Kidman and some famous celebrities living there too. The US is truly a country of opportunities you will never tire of new things and new challenges there. I miss being home. I'm a southwest girl and everyday I wish I'm in the US doing all normal American mommy does. Most of all I miss driving and going on roadtrips. You are lucky to have this chance so enjoy it while it last and I hope you share to other people of other countries how truly friendly and helpful Americans are. We are competitive, hardworking, patriotic, straightforward people, and most of all we enjoy diversity.

    thanka2 likes this.

  8. #8
    pipinhk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Tseung Kwan O, NT

    Thanks so much ladies, I was excited before, now I just can't wait!

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