Living on my own

Living on my own

Listen to Jocelyn talking about her experience of moving out of her family home and living on her own in Hong Kong.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


I want to talk about my experience of moving out and living on my own. Moving out to live on your own is not very common in Hong Kong. Many people still choose to live with their parents even though they have a decent job and they're already at (in) their 30s. Many of them would stay with their parents until they get married. There are several reasons behind – firstly, Hong Kong's rent is expensive. Many people would rather save up more money to purchase an apartment instead of renting one. Secondly, the Chinese traditional value of family is that the parents are the ones who brought you up. When you become an adult, you should also take good care of your parents and you should spend more time to be with them. And of course there are people who are still dependent on their parents for food, clothing, household chores, etc.

When I tell people about the idea of moving out, many people's reaction is like, 'What do your parents say?', because they assume the parents would not like their children to leave them. Well, I don't know if my parents like it, but I can tell you my parents support and respect my decision. They think it is good for me to try and live on my own and then I would know it is the best to stay with my family. 

The most important reason for independent living is to save the travelling time to work. It used to take me one hour 15 minutes to travel to work from my previous living place. From my new apartment, it just takes me 30 minutes, so I saved 45 minutes' travelling time. I don't have to get up so early and I save two-third (two-thirds) of my travelling cost. It does not only save my time to travel for work, but also from most of the places in Hong Kong. In addition, I gain my personal space and freedom by independent living. I make my own decision (decisions) all the time, I do not have to say whether I would go home for dinner, I can invite my friends to come up and stay late. 

Of course, there are some trade-offs in living on your own. If you want to rent an apartment, there are lots of preparatory works (work) to do. You have to keep visiting the apartments to search for your ideal one. You have to negotiate with the landlord about the price, furniture inclusion, who is responsible for the maintenance of the furniture and equipments (equipment). My experience was that after we moved into the apartment, it was not until the kitchen cupboard was soaked with water that we found out there was water leakage (leak) in the kitchen sink. 

Money is the main issue in living on your own. You have to be responsible for all the expenses, for example the rent, electricity, gas, water, telephone, internet bills, etc. Therefore, you've got to be well prepared and save up for your bills. Although I find my transportation time much shorter, the saved time is spent on other things, such as cooking and some other household chores. I think preparing and cooking the food do occupy a significant portion of my time; therefore, I always try to make simple meals. On the other hand, I have to regularly tidy up my apartment and wash my clothes, so it doesn't really save much of my time after all. 

Now everything is settled down, I'm getting used to my new life and I am enjoying it. I feel that moving out makes it easier for me to strike a balance between my work, my social life, my study and my family. It may be troublesome, but it may worth (be worth it).


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Hello David

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The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user arradfar

Submitted by arradfar on Mon, 01/07/2019 - 07:59

Hi I appreciate you for very useful website and your endless efforts, I have suggestion in preparation parts, the words in boxes are not copy able! then it's time consuming to type them again in dictionary. sincerely
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:13

In reply to by arradfar


Hello arradfar

I'm sorry for the inconvenience! I'll pass your idea on to our technical team for next time they revise the tasks.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by parisaach on Sun, 30/06/2019 - 06:30

This is the thing that I've always wanted: living alone, but I've never been enough determined to leave my parents. Actually I'm a bit lazy , though I bought my own apartment I' m still can't leave my parents. I stick with them. When I was younger I have always imagined myself to live alone as a student and my friends come over to see me. So there weren't my parents around to tell what to do and what not to do. After I bought my own apartment I was thinking of being independent and leaving my parents, but It never happened because I have never tried to get it. Living with your parents and living alone each one has some benefits. When I live with my parents I always have hot food and I don't need to cook myself. They take care of me and I should take care of them. They interfere in my business and steadily tell me what is right and what is wrong. and never let me grow up. On the other hand if I live alone there is no one to tell me what to do and what not to do. I can be independent . I can grow up . and stand on my own feet. It could be difficult but it totally worth it

Submitted by RobRoy on Mon, 11/03/2019 - 18:44

I definetly prefer to live on my own. I had to live with my parent and an older brothe in one bedroom appartment untill 17 yers old. After that I became a stdent and lived in a dorm for 5 yers sharing a room with four other stdents. It was fun but I was waiting with anticipation that time when I could stay in peace and quiet. When I mooved home from the dorm I lived alone for two years. I didn't even have a Tv, I got a fish tank insted this is when I really striked a balance. All these house chores are nothing because when you live alone there is almost nothing to tidy up and it is very simple to be efficent. Although money is a significant factor to consider. In my sitution I mooved in my family house which was empty at that time instead of staying in a city where I was studing exactly because I didn't need to pay rent. Also if a size of an appartment alows you to live in with you parents so that every of you has his free space it is not a very bad idea. Living with parents can give you a really good experience.