Whether you’re thinking about leaving your home country or already a fully-fledged expat, you will most likely have had thoughts at some point regarding what it would be like to live somewhere else. It’s naturally impossible to predict exactly how your new life will pan out, whether home or abroad, but in this article some light will be shed on a few of those truths and myths that usually crop up.
1. Expert knowledge takes time
You’re a month in living in your new hometown and you think you’ve found all the perfect and cool local little hotspots that you can’t wait to show your friends from home when they visit. The truth is that you probably haven’t. Some of the jaunts you find early on may stick for sentimental reasons, but chances are you will find the real gems further along. The best way to quicken the process is by trying new places out on a regular basis, sifting out the good from the not-so-great. So, whether that’s switching up your Thai takeaway choices or going to a new bar, you’ll be cramming in a lot of new things.
2.Making friends is not harder than before
Many worry about the difficulty of making new friends when moving abroad, and a survey shows that this is actually one of the biggest worries in the expat community. Making friends does, however, not depend on the country you are in, but more about the approach you take. If you didn’t have any issues making friends back home, chances are you will have no problem meeting new pals when moving abroad. If social skills aren’t your forte, consider joining a sports team or an association.
3. You’ll always compare
If you’re one of those expats or soon-to-be expats who move to get away from your home because you think it’s boring or in any way bad, you will still end up comparing everything in your new environment with what it was like at home. Of course, it’s natural – when you are confronted with something that’s different you will automatically compare it to what you know and are used to. The funny thing is you find yourself thinking “this is much better back home”!
4. The foreign will be the new norm
Things you are used to being socially acceptable or unacceptable at home will in many cases be turned upside down. You will have to adapt your behaviours to fit in with the locals, because they won’t adapt to yours. But this is part of the enjoyment and adventure of moving abroad.
5. Being an expat doesn’t mean you’ll be single forever
Moving somewhere with the intention of not staying can induce the feeling of not wanting to invest in relationships. But one study shows that around half of Americans move city or even abroad for love, so don’t go with any preconceptions of what the future will hold!
Although these are merely guidelines of what to expect (it’s obviously very dependent on your personality and where in the world you are), they should provide you with some kind of idea about how your adventure will look like.