I’m often asked why I moved to Malaysia. It’s easy to understand why I get asked that – it’s quite rare to find a British Clinical Psychologist in Malaysia. At the time of writing I think that I’m the only one living and working here.
The short answer to that question is that I’m here because I’m married to a Malaysian. For a number of years we lived in a great little neighbourhood in North London. Our twin boys still talk about the playgrounds and parks there. However, the cost of living in London is increasing all the time. Most of my friends working with the National Health Service (NHS) move out of London when they’re starting a family. We decided to do the same, except we made the move all the way out to Kuala Lumpur.
The cost of living is a lot lower than in the UK and that makes it very comfortable to live here. We love the food (check this page out for a delicious introduction) and I’m actually a fan of the constant heat. My wife has a lot more options for her career (our jobs are quite different) and I was excited about the opportunities that working in Malaysia might hold. Malaysian psychologists might be a bit surprised by that last statement as there are very few jobs available in Clinical Psychology in Malaysia. I agree it’s certainly more difficult to get started here. But that also means we have the opportunity to develop psychological services that benefit people who currently have very little access to psychological help.
At the time of writing (2017), I’ve lived in Malaysia for 5 years. As with every country, there are certain frustrations, but we’re very much enjoying being here and at the moment we have no plans to leave.