Being an Expat: Living abroad as a foreigner

Bing an expat

Relocating abroad automatically means that you become categorised as an expatriate – also known as an expat. As such, you have decided to reside in another culture than that of your citizenship – you are now an immigrant. As a result, it’s now your responsibility to adapt to this foreign culture – for better and worse. Don’t be afraid, though, it’s quite the adventure, and as long as you have an open mind, you’ll be more than fine – trust me. However, for anyone relocating to a foreign culture and trying to adapt as well as assimilate to norms and behaviour attached to this culture will know: It takes time. Meanwhile, in my experience, you’ll come to experience things – things that you may or may not have expected before immigrating:

  1. The paper work concerning your relocation abroad is endless
  1. …And the rules and regulations can be rather confusing and, to you, at times, somewhat illogical
  1. Not knowing the foreign language can be a real challenge – even with good English skills
  1. For better and worse, Google Translate becomes one of your treasured friends
  1. You’ll come to find that the importance of a personal number is key to …EVERYTHING
  1. Keeping in touch with friends and family from back home becomes truly important to you
  1. ..As a result, so does all types of social media as they help you stay in touch
  1. You’ll experience that your otherwise common and boring name is exotic and beautiful in the ears of foreigners, which is somewhat wonderfully weird to you
  1. You’ll discover what stereotypes there are out there concerning your home country and its people
  1. You’ll come to understand that there are various and different expectations of personal space
  1. You don’t always know what you should or should not buy at the grocery store
  1. It can be almost impossible (at times, definitely impossible) to find certain native foods
  1. You’ll pay unreasonable amounts of money for food that only somewhat resemble what you can get back home in desperate hours of homesickness
  1. The wonders of goodie bags sent from friends and family with foods from home can make your day
  1. Eating out can be either the best or worst experience
  1. You’ll never really know how much to tip
  1. When you meet a fellow (insert your nationality here), you immediately get excited
  1. However, you’ll experience that meeting new friends from foreign cultures is truly enlightening on so many levels – especially, culture-wise
  1. You’ll find yourself incredible excited when new friends or acquaintances know something about your country – especially, if you, like me, come from a little otherwise insignificant nation that people rarely tend to know much about
  1. You’ll find that keeping up with politics back home is difficult
  1. …So is keeping up with its pop culture
  1. On the other side, you’ll experience that acquiring insight into and understanding for a foreign culture is an exciting and adventurous experience
  1. You’ll come to understand your own culture and foreign cultures more in-depth and acquire perspective on these, realizing that there’s a lot you don’t know about the world yet
  1. Ultimately, you’ll realize that you will never truly know the foreign culture no matter for how long you’ll live there
  1. …That won’t stop you from getting lost in the foreign culture and your new home city/country, which you’ll find nothing but exciting
  1. As a result, you’ll come to treasure your native culture more in some ways and in other ways, you’ll come to treasure the foreign culture more

Despite challenges and difficulties linked to relocating and living abroad, it’s worth it! Every day is the beginning of a new and exciting adventure filled with wonderful people.

xo P!

 

Picture
 Google’s search engine
Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Being an Expat: Living abroad as a foreigner

  1. I can relate to this. Moving from Ireland to….Qatar was a huge shock for me. Everything was different. The major problem I see as an expat is not the cultural shock one experience when relocating. My concern is that, after so many years in Middle East, I know I will find it very difficult to re-accommodate to my home values.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally resonate with point 6, staying in touch with friends and family back home has become more important to me. I seem to have put in more effort to keep those connections alive, scary how easily we can lose contact with someone today.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s