Audra Living as a Black Alien in Hongkong With the seemingly relaxed (and colorful!) many considering moving overseas to pursue a new, creative life, the black diaspora has been offering hope. Audra delves into what it means to make a home in a vibrant city. Deep inside, this island girl from St. Vincent and the Grenadines finds herself unfamiliar. This is what Audra’s day is, investing in her happiness and growing her career.
In October 2011, the weather was fine, and I landed in Hong Kong for the first time.A chance, Linkedin connection allowed me to trade my life for New York City Never visited Hong Kong before. (Spontaneity is what makes my life fun!) The weather was great and the people were friendly, so I knew right away that I was going to be here for a while. Almost 11 years later, Hong Kong is still my place. I’ve been curious about the world since growing up in the Caribbean islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but I never imagined finding a place to call home in an Asian city nearly 10,000 miles away.
Moving to my “hometown of Hong Kong” – the city we affectionately call – has allowed me to pursue my interests, explore more of the world, and grow both personally and professionally. A few years after arriving, I took a career break to pursue my MBA here full-time. Doing so took me to a semester abroad in London, an internship in Ghana, a six-month solo road trip across Africa, and ultimately a career I was truly passionate about. The impact of that period of reflection and the people I met along the way inspired me to give up a long career in banking. Now I’m a creative person who loves color.
My travels have taken me to 76 countries on six continents, but none quite like Hong Kong. I couldn’t have found a better city to connect with other like-minded individuals eager to share their resources and encourage you to follow your passions. Hong Kong is safe, efficient, has low income tax rates, and has tons of fun social activities. Recent COVID-19 restrictions have had an impact on the latter, but activity has returned, albeit at reduced capacity.
The black expat community has grown tremendously since I first arrived. I managed to find people from all walks of life that I call my Hong Kong family. I have a few Caribbean friends who have been here longer than I have. During the holidays, we get together to make black cakes and sorrel and share them when we see plantains and green bananas in the community. (We trek here for plantains and green bananas!)
When most people think of Hong Kong, skyscrapers are the first thing that comes to mind, but did you know that there are also beautiful beaches here? There are over 200 outlying islands, so when I’m in town on the weekends I tend to spend a lot of time hitting the beach and exploring new places. Camping at the beach is one of my favorite things to do, so I bought a tent and the proper camping gear. The beauty of camping in Hong Kong is waking up to the sound of the crashing waves at sunrise and enjoying the beautiful scenery with a group of friends. It is important to me to experience the green and calm of the seaside away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I’m an island girl so being by the water makes me happy.
Sunday’s for self-care, relaxation and endless enjoyment. You may find me holding a coconut and spending free time with the people I love. During the cooler temperatures in spring and fall, I enjoy hiking and taking in the beautiful scenery. The city is a foodie’s paradise. You can enjoy almost all types of cuisines here as well as fusions of the tastiest dishes. Still, I believe the best Caribbean food is made in my kitchen. I’m a pescatarian so I’m always keen to explore new seafood and vegetarian places.
my life here founder of fashion This is very different from my previous life as a banker.I am now the founder beam bolda vibrant fashion brand for color lovers of all shapes and sizes.
No two days are the same as I am constantly managing multiple priorities. I worked as a solo entrepreneur for a while before building my dream team. It is necessary for me to dedicate days of the week to prioritizing key areas of my business. Sometimes my main focus is finances, business strategy, business development and marketing, and I even make connections one day because it’s such a big part of who I am.
Here’s my life on a typical Friday in Hong Kong: