From the time we decided to leave Hong Kong in June to start over in Berlin, I relaxed my routines a bit and began to take time looking at Hong Kong with the eyes of a person that will not be here much longer. One area struck me as desperately underserved: the exit.
Having someone take care of you when you leave, which is WAY harder that arriving, btw, would would polish off the Hong Kong experience. The city needs a professional exit service. The process of tying up personal loose ends in ‘normal’ family life is already an ongoing challenge. But once we start to pack up, stress levels rise. To-do-lists become exponential, as every little transaction and every little errand will require our attention. And then, there are the leaving parties for the kids, the last teas, dinners and drinks with friends and associates of all kinds.
To add to the experience, there will be other leaving parties to visit. Our own attempt to create a leaving event bombed, by the way. Meanwhile, most mundane stuff populated our diaries without asking for permission: the car ownership that needed to be transferred. The shipping documents for the dog that needed to be filled in. Stuff that wants to find a new home. Books to return, bank accounts to close. We need to find a new school for our kids at the destination, find a new direction for ourselves. Most importantly, we want to say good-bye. The obstacle-path of leaving Hong Kong in a mentally sane condition is asking a lot, I know. Just getting out of here without a long tail of unfinished business is all-consuming, and the valuable last six weeks that we would love to spend on things we care about melt away like ice-cubes in the sun.
I have done a few international moves in life without family. It helped to keep an inventory of life, finances, insurances, accounts, certificates, documents etc. before change hits. You will be able to hand that folder over to your future ‘exit agent of your choice one day, say: “Deal with it – I am off to creat memories… thanks!” Buy gifts, party, help your kids, tick off your bucket list, make it the time of you life – but live it! This is how you will remember Hong Kong – or any other temporary home.
I am sharing this because if there is someone out there who is good at all this and who wants to start offering an exit package as a business, it would flourish, no doubt. I am happy to consult you on strategy and branding to set this up. You will have plenty of support in this wonderful city!