Moving to a foreign country can be an exciting and turbulent experience. Some people do it out of necessity as their job is relocating, some may do it for a new beginning; others move abroad for the pure fun of it. It can, in fact, be a lot of fun and you’re up for an amount of learning, growing, and getting to know yourself a whole lot better.
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Here is a handful of what expats say they never expected to learn about themselves while living abroad so that you can head off on your a
dventure, a bit more prepared than they were.
A mix of wonder and responsibility
If you’re wondering what it’s like to move abroad, many point to the mix of Peter Pan-like wonder of discovering new places and the harsh reality of work and life which tourists don’t have to deal with. It’s a purgatory between adolescence and responsibility; those who forget about the latter are often disappointed as they’ll, eventually, have to grow up and learn how to navigate this unfamiliar territory.
The tourists can stroll the new and exciting streets without worrying about the bureaucracy, while the locals have the knowledge and tools to navigate all of this – you, on the other hand, may find yourself somewhere in between.
The honeymoon phase
Just like we’re able to find the odd quirks of our SO kind of charming until we’ve lived together for a full year, you’ll find a silver lining in every aspect of your new country – to begin with, that is.
As an inexperienced expat, it’s good to keep in mind that even the most positive person will have a bit of breakdown and feel homesick sooner or later; it could be the lack of hygiene, the trouble with finding the kind of food you enjoy, or even the constant expectations of socialisation.
It’s a circular process, though, and after realising that the poor bathroom facilities in their apartments are far from as bearable as you once thought, you’ll get along with it once again after some time.
Think like the locals
The difference between being a tourist and a local may strike you at one point, and it opens up for a number of opportunities with regards to both work and finding the right accommodation. Many expats who moved abroad to find work found themselves without much luck at all.
Do what you would have done at home and find a decent agent to help you out. The same goes for finding accommodation; if you don’t have a friend to hook you up with a decent abode, get in touch with an estate agency and let them handle it for you.
Living abroad becomes a lot easier when we manage to think like a local a