Brown Girl Abroad: Yinka

Brown Girl Abroad Interview Series

We’re back!!! Excited to introduce my friend Yinka to you. Yinka and I actually connected through my blog back in 2015. She relocated to Hong Kong about 2 months after me. We became instant friends and I’m so thankful that I’ve known her during my transition year in Hong Kong. Meet Yinka 🙂

BMA: Introduce yourself!

My name is Yinka, I’m 35 years old from London, UK. I’ve been living in Hong Kong with my husband for over a year, this is my first experience of living in another country which has always been a lifelong dream of mine. I love to travel and explore different cultures which has also helped me learn more about myself and the world around me. The natural world is an extraordinarily beautiful place that I want to see with my own eyes.


BMA: What age did you receive your passport?

I received my first passport aged 14 as my mother had planned a trip to Jamaica.

BMA: Do you speak or are you currently learning a language other than English?

Unfortunately I don’t speak any other language fluently but I always learn phrases before trips to non-English speaking countries so I can greet locals and express gratitude.

BMA: Did you meet your husband abroad or in your home country?

I met my husband in London though he is from another country (France) himself.

BMA: Can you list all the countries you’ve traveled to?

So far the countries I’ve visited are:

1. Barbados

2. Belgium

3. Cambodia

4. China

5. Cyprus

6. Denmark

7. Egypt

8. France

9. Germany

10. Greece

11. Hong Kong

12. Italy

13. Jamaica

14. Japan

15. Laos

16. Macau

17. Martinique

18. Netherlands

19. Portugal

20. Saint Lucia

21. Spain

22. South Korea

23. Thailand

24. USA

25. Vietnam


BMA: What made you decide to live abroad?

My husband was looking for another job so I encouraged him to look abroad, he also wanted a change in country so it was the perfect opportunity for the both of us.

BMA: How long do you plan on living abroad?

We plan on living abroad indefinitely; my husbands career is the decider. Although, if an opportunity arises in Europe that’s worthwhile then we would consider it. We are better off living in Hong Kong than the UK since the recent Brexit vote for the UK to no longer be part of the European Union. This has contributed to us not going back considering my husband’s French nationality could make things more difficult to return to the UK in the future.

BMA: Have you experienced any discrimination traveling abroad?

I’ve never experienced any discrimination since living abroad just curiosity which I found strange given Hong Kong is a modern city with millions of foreign visitors each year. Strangely, I have not had this experience when travelling to other Asian countries.

BMA: What do you wish you knew before traveling abroad?

Actually there’s nothing I wish I knew before, I have learnt to adapt and deal with a situation if it arises.

BMA: How does your family feel about you living abroad?

My mum and close friends were understandably upset when I first moved but knew this was something I have always dreamed so they are happy for me and very supportive.

BMA: What did you miss most about home?

I obviously miss my close friends. Funnily I also miss my favourite supermarket and how great the value was, here the food shopping is more expensive as literally everything is imported which is reflected in the prices.

BMA: When were you first bitten by the travel bug?

Ever since I was at school I have had the desire to travel, I loved going on school trips and exploring places out of London even if it was just the south coast of Britain. I had a very vivid dream once that I was In New York and never ever imagined I would ever visit in real life but it happened, since then I believed dreams can come true.

BMA: What advice can you share with women thinking of living abroad?

I would say research your new home beforehand and don’t be afraid to take risks. You will be faced with challenges but once you can overcome them the experience and opportunity you have been given is rewarding.

BMA: What is your traveling style?

I like to be organised beforehand and have an itinerary but it depends on the destination, city breaks I’m more detailed and beach holidays more relaxed.

BMA: How do you finance your traveling?

My husband and I finance our trips together though I like to look out for special deals and research when the low season is so that hotels and flights will be cheaper and less crowded.

BMA: How often do you travel?

Before I was married I would travel whenever I could if it was financially possible and if I had a travel companion who wanted to go with me. Now that I’m married we like to take long weekends away, given the proximity to other Asian countries it’s easy to jump on a plane and head off somewhere.


BMA: What are your top 3 travel tips for women?

  1. Research the area you’ll be staying in so you know your surroundings.
  2. No need to over pack, it just makes travelling to/from airport/hotel that much easier.
  3. Asking the local people at your destination for recommendations on where to eat, places to visit etc can give you are more authentic experience.

BMA: What are your favorite travel resources?

I always use Tripadvisor for reviews on accommodation, restaurants and places to visit. I always like to read through travel blogs and watch YouTube videos on destination guides.

BMA: Tell us a travel story we’d enjoy!

While on a trip to Macau my husband and I visited the Venetian hotel and casino which is very impressive in size to the point it actually took us over an hour to try to find the way out! We didn’t realise that a number of other hotels were all linked together. My husband looked like he was ready to burst with frustration all the while I was trying not to laugh while marvelling at the sheer size of the place.

BMA: How can we follow your travels?

Thoughts on Yinka’s interview? We’d love to hear from you, comment below!

Interested in being interviewed for Brown Girl Abroad? Let’s connect, comment below or email me!

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