When you relocate to a new county, you will become very familiar with the term expatriate or expat. You may hear individuals within your host country refer to you as an expat and you may even begin to call yourself an expatriate- but becoming an expat includes much more than a title, it’s often an entire life change.
If you are newly relocated, or will be relocating soon, here are a few tips to help you become accustom to your new situation.
- Step outside your comfort zone. This can be tough for anyone who has just relocated to a new country, even those who are typically outgoing. However, the more you do, the more comfortable you will feel in your new environment. Whether this is venturing down a new path in your neighborhood when out for a run, joining a common interest club/group, or simply making the initiative to meet your neighbors, every little step will help you acclimate to your new home.
- Join the locals. Try to learn as much about the culture as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to go to the events that the locals attend. They will typically be centered around a holiday or celebration and give you great insight into what the tradition is all about. Not only will it be informative, but a great way to meet new people.
- Keep in touch with home. Becoming an expat doesn’t mean you need to cut all ties to your home country. As long as it doesn’t become a crutch, staying in contact with those back home may help motivate you to explore your new surrounds. Also, finding an expat store is helpful when adjusting to living in a new country, typically these stores will have top-selling food items from countries around the world like candy, drinks, cheeses and spices. These stores are especially great for those with children going through the adjustment as well.
- Mingle with other expats. While you don’t want your whole social circle to be those who have migrated from other countries, it’s often helpful to have individuals who are going through the same situation as you around. Additionally, these individuals may be able to offer great insight on where to find good international services like international health insurance.
- Stay open minded. Not everything will be the same as inside your home country, more than likely they will be very different. However, that is all part of the experience of living in a new place. While you may not love every difference, keep in mind that you more than likely don’t love everything about your home country either- and that’s ok.