Let’s be honest – life for expats can be scary and tough, much more if you are not the naturally adventurous type. Stress and homesickness can eat you whole, but then again, you have a new life to live now. You have moved to a new place because you have a purpose – most commonly, to earn bigger income. The moment you step out of the plane, there is definitely no turning back. So, how do you cope with the changes and eventually enjoy being an expatriate? Here are five tricks to help you expats get the most out of your new life.
Number Five: Embrace Change Wholeheartedly. Do the honors, and welcome yourself to a new world. You have just stepped out from your comfort zone. Being an expat is not anything close to death, so there is no need to panic. Enjoy what the new place and new neighborhood have to offer. This is now the chance to grow up and be a wise decision-maker. Take this as a gift from heaven to mold yourself to whoever you want to be. Take this as your metamorphic phase.
Number Four: Get a Good House, and Make it Your Home. More often than not, expats move alone. You carry the baggage all by yourself, not to mention the heavy heart you bring with you. So, do yourself a favor – find a good house. There is really nothing more comforting than going home to a good house with a soft bed and spacious kitchen. Get a place where you can be freely wild and awkward. Be where you can be your most beautiful and most ugly. Buy new curtains of your favorite color. Cook food your mom used to prepare for you. Let it be your haven.
Number Three: Find Friends, a Church or Community. You are not the only expat on earth, so go out and find the others. It is absolutely free to meet new amazing people you can call friends. Let them guide you as you wander around, trying to grasp everything. Listen to their stories of survival and learn. They surely wouldn’t mind listening to yours, too. You could also find a church of your religion. You will never know how much you need to be spiritually healed until you step into one. Also, find people who share common interests with you – bloggers, photographers, runners and all sorts. There is just so much fun when the conversations are about shared passions.
Number Two: Know Your Boss and Office Mates. Truly know the people you work with. You will be with them eight hours or more every day. It will surely be a lot of work to be comfortably working and talking with them, much more if you speak different languages. But it is not impossible to build good professional relationships with them. More often than not, locals are sincerely welcoming and friendly to expats like you. They will be the first people you will run to when you face troubles. Be good to them and they’ll return the favor.
Number One: Stay Connected. No matter where you step your feet into, do not forget where you came from and the family you left behind. They will still be your cheerleaders and shock-absorbers when you need some screaming and push. Do not be emotionally distant, because really, the physical gap is already too much to bear. Remember, you are an expat, not a caveman. Send good morning and good night messages everyday. Call if you must. There are a lot of free messaging apps out there so you actually do not have an excuse. You might have moved miles away, but your heart knows its true home.