Say hello to: Jen Gearing

Despite missing her favourite Australian vintages, Jen has been settling in well in Malaysia with her family.

by / Published: 9 Jun 2017

Say hello to: Jen Gearing
Photo: Jen Gearing

Nationality: Australian
Occupation: Volunteer in various organisations
In Malaysia since: December 2016

What brought you to Malaysia?

My husband was offered a role in the not-for-profit sector here in Asia. It was a completely different role and industry to his previous jobs, but he has a varied background and transferable skills. Michael and I had always wanted to work and live overseas but the timing never seemed right. This time, we decided not to let the opportunity pass us by.

How did you prepare to move here?

I’m a project manager, so naturally I had lots of checklists and spreadsheets to track our progress! I did lots of research into the lifestyle and places to visit, joined expat Facebook groups and looked into running groups and other ways for me to settle in and meet new friends.

What keeps you busy here now?

I’ve been co-editing the Malaysian Australian New Zealand Association (MANZA) magazine, did some work with The Lost Food Project and am now part of the Care2Run team. We get school-aged children outdoors to learn new skills and physical activities via an eight-week programme. I have the time to help, so this is a good opportunity for me to participate in meaningful projects and share my skills with others.

Favourite new experiences?

I just love going to the local markets. For me to be able to go somewhere like the Chow Kit market weekly, buying fresh fruit and vegetables and using new ingredients I never had in Australia, is a real treat!

Noticed any interesting cultural practices in Malaysia?

Motorbikes riding on the footpaths in the wrong direction and pedestrians crossing four-lane highways have really been eye-openers!

What would you ask a friend to bring from home?

Butterball Chardonnay! Some of my favourite wines aren’t available here, but I would like my friends to bring the wine over personally so we can drink it together!

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