Nationality: British (Scottish)
In Malaysia since: May 2017
What brought you here?
After spending the last two and a half years in the UK, it was my husband’s work that brought us to Malaysia. I was honestly really excited as I’d spent eight years in Southeast Asia before, but also sad as many of our friends who were based in Asia had returned home due to the decline in the oil and gas sector – yet here we were being transferred back.
Getting to know Malaysia?
I knew very little of Malaysia despite staying in Singapore for eight years. We only came across to Malaysia once. Shocking, I know, but there were so many other places to visit!
What do you know about Malaysia now that you didn't before?
Traffic...the traffic here is bonkers. I have never seen such mad traffic and driving in all my life, and the motorcyclists are crazy!
Where else have you been in Asia?
We first came to Southeast Asia in August 2005 – we’d been contracted to stay in Singapore for two years, but we were still there eight years later! We’ve also stayed in Brunei and Thailand as well, all with my husband’s work. Travelling-wise, we’ve visited many places in the region – Bali, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Maldives, Brunei, Langkawi, Penang, Bintan and most of Thailand.
You manage a business remotely. What’s that like?
About a year ago, we started a property development and leasing company back in the UK. My son handles all the properties in the UK and I manage all the paperwork. We also have a great solicitor and accountant to guide us as well. To be honest, it’s been easy so far! You have to stay focused though. I deal with emails and anything else first thing in the morning. At the end of the day, it’s a business that generates income and you have to keep on top of things.
How do you cope with the time difference between here and the UK?
My husband and I made a deal with family that the weekend was our time for catching up with them all. FaceTime is a great thing and we also get to see our two granddaughters as well. We cope, generally because we have been overseas for a number of years. It’s strange but when the UK goes back that extra hour in winter, it causes chaos.
If a package arrived from home, what would you like to see in it?
Chocolate from the UK – Tunnocks Caramel Wafers in particular!
Any advice for new expats?
Enjoy the experience. Go and explore. Bring some of your home comforts with you, which you may not find here in Asia. Everyone is so friendly – join an association to help you meet new people. One thing about Southeast Asia is that it steals your heart; you instantly fall in love with the people and all the beautiful countries to visit.
New to Malaysia and want to say hi to the community?
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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