Moving to a new country can be stressful, exhilarating and exhausting. Becoming an expat involves packing up your life and starting over in a new place, whether for love, work, or wanderlust. There’s so much to be considered, from making sure you have health coverage, finding a place to live, opening new bank accounts, to making sure your pets get through quarantine.
Rather than let all the planning and details get you down, try to focus on the positives. Moving abroad is an incredible experience- travel and all that it brings leads to life-changing and inspiring experiences, whether you accomplish something huge, such as trekking the Great Wall of China, or the seemingly mundane- gaining enough confidence to order your morning coffee and croissant in French from your neighbourhood patisserie. As an American who lived several years in the UK, and is now residing in Australia, I can assure you that moving abroad will not be something you regret! I’m happy to let you know that I’ve teamed up with HiFX to contribute to their campaign to help expats adjust to their new life abroad.
To see more tips from fellow expats, please check out HiFX’s “15 Tips for Moving Abroad”
To everyone who is in the process of moving abroad, or is contemplating doing so, I give you this advice- be flexible, and enjoy every minute of it! It is inevitable that something will go wrong, whether it be flight delays, the lease falling through on your new flat, or misunderstandings with the local language, but take it all in stride. Different countries have different customs, and at some point you’ll probably become frustrated by the differences from your home country. If you make an effort to embrace the differences, rather than expect things to be the way they were at home, you’ll feel like a local in no time. I’ve found that I came to appreciate, and even love, my new home for what makes it so unique. In the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.”
Make the most of your time abroad by seeing as much of your adopted country as you can. Long weekends make for great road trips to places you never thought you’d see and lazy Saturdays spent in museums, concerts, or cafes can be a time to practice the language, learn the culture, and meet new people. Or, use your new home as a base for exploring other nearby countries. By getting to know your new home and making new friends, you’ll settle in quickly and help to avoid feelings of homesickness or loneliness, and you’ll never look back!
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)