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How I called the Isle of Man ‘home’

18 August 2015


Grace Tu-Cook is originally from China, after travelling and working in China and New Zealand, she moved to the Isle of Man with her husband. Currently she is working as the Country Strategy Operations Support Officer at the Department of Economic Development, helping to build relationships between countries and the Isle of Man.


Three years ago, my husband put a ring on my finger in New Zealand, one sunny afternoon with his sincere, rather convincing and charming British accent: “hey you know the Isle of Man’s weather is just as glamorous as here, would you like to move back with me?” What more could I ask for? Definitely a ‘’Yes’’, Mr Husband!

After 38 hours of flight time to get here I was officially a new Manx wife and having gone from a bigger island to a smaller island, I started my relocation journey.

Arriving in November 2012, I realised a decent rain jacket is a ‘must have’ in my new closet – (I mean wardrobe), after exploring Laxey Wheel, Peel Castle, Port Erin beach and visiting a few lighthouses.

I also quickly expanded my social life through my initial retail banking workplace and soon learned why the Isle of Man is such a good place for business - “we are here at the forefront to deliver the best customer services while adhering to the highest standards of international regulation.” I remembered this sentence well as my manager loved to quote it at the start of our weekly staff meeting.

As a Chinese national, I love and miss exotic Chinese foods. Thankfully the local Robinsons stores and the A Café in Duke St, Douglas are my secret weapons for every now and then when I’m feeling particularly homesick!

Eleven months ago, I joined the Department of Economic Development and feel very proud that I am now able to help build business and other relationships between my ‘two’ homes: China and the Isle of Man.

Chinese government officials and business delegations visiting the Isle of Man never fail to mention how impressed they are with our supportive and business friendly government, our transparent tax regime and regulation, how our politicians and indeed our Chief Minister are easy to access, and how we are agile and responsive in reacting to their different needs and situations.

A friend (and philosopher) I met while I travelled once told me – ‘’home is the place where you can truly find inner peace…..’’

Despite its British weather, the Isle of Man always manages to embrace and surprise me with its numerous hidden gems where I can walk, cycle and camp, not to mention enjoy my beautiful sunflowers in the garden. I think I have found the land in which I can happily settle and call home. I believe it’s the perfect location for entrepreneurs to benefit themselves and the island if they truly value this kind of unique culture.

So… what do you say?

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