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Rebecca Fanstone

Rebecca Fanstone

Expat Stories

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Rebecca, and I have lived as an expat in Hong Kong for 20 years with my husband Jason and two kids, Sam, & Grace. I am Canadian and currently but temporarily reside on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I have been living back in Canada for just about 4 years now. My husband is a pilot and was to be based in London as of last April, but C#vid halted our plans. We will be moving to Spain once things settle down a bit and I am so excited about our next adventure.

I currently work as a life coach. This type of work is perfect for me, as I can live anywhere!

Vancouver Island

What did you like most about living in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong was such an amazing City to live in. We lived on an Island just a half-hour ferry ride from “Hong Kong side” called Discovery Bay. This community was very close, and people from all over the world lived there. My kids went to the International school there and were able to foster so many long-lasting relationships living in that environment.

Hong Kong’s restaurants were amazing and such an international selection. The energy of the city is so vibrant and felt very safe. Not to mention it was a hub for international travel. You could get to so many amazing destinations such as Thailand, Bali, Malaysia; you name it. They were just a short plane ride away. I miss everything about Hong Kong.

What brought you to Hong Kong in the first place?

My husband’s job brought us to Hong Kong. He works for Cathay Pacific Airways. Our original plan was to spend one year there and then take a North American base, but 2 kids and 20 years later absorbed ourselves in the amazing culture.

What did you enjoy most about living as an expat?

I loved the expat community in Hong Kong. We have made amazing friends along the way from many different counties. This was the best part for me. Traveling around Asia was an incredible perk as well!

Did living abroad change you? If so, how?

Living abroad absolutely changed me. I feel so lucky to have had this experience. I have the bug to keep living in and experiencing new places and cultures. I can’t wait for the next adventure. When you can travel as we did, it broadens your perspectives, and you can’t help be changed by the people you meet along the way.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone who was about to move abroad?

The one piece of advice I would give someone is live in the moment. Enjoy your experience and immerse yourself, and kids in that culture.

You and your family will get so much more out of the experience if you do this. Also, find support in other expats living in your community. Make friends and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. There really is so much support.

Has 2020 changed you? If so, how?

2020 has changed me. Although I have felt a lot of frustration as everyone has, 2020 has given me the chance to practice my pause. Reflect on everything, shift my perspectives and enjoy the small but significant moments with my family.

What do you hope 2021 brings you?

I hope 2021 brings me the chance to travel again with my family and experience what it’s like to live in Spain. I also hope to keep the perspectives that I learned in 2020 about taking a pause and living in the moment a bit more. I can’t wait to bring my work abroad and see what new doors open for my family and me!

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