So, you’ve got the travel bug! You want to take traveling to the next level and move to a new country. The idea of moving abroad is thrilling! Whether you’re looking to move permanently or just part of the year, it’s an exciting opportunity for adventure.
At some point during your adventure, however, the realities of living abroad may start to come to light. The perfect picture you created in your mind may not play out the way you anticipated it.
You may look back in hindsight and wish you would have known a few of the things beforehand. After all, it’s always harder learning things the hard way than being forewarned ahead of time.
Fear not, your move abroad will likely be as exciting as you hope it will be. However, it’s vital that you balance your optimistic dream with a more realistic outlook. Here are some of the things you can anticipate.
Things To Know Before Moving Abroad
Living Conditions May Not Be The Same
Depending on where you go, things may be incredibly different from back home. Expecting things to run the same way as you’re used to will only be met with frustration.
While back in America you may have a great property manager, you may be playing a different ball game now. Don’t expect that you will find an apartment with perfectly maintained common areas or weekly maid service. You’re in a new country. Things are different here!
Rather than expecting things to run the same, expect the worst, and hope for the best.
It’s Not Always Easy To Meet People
When you’re a tourist, it’s easy to meet other tourists in bars and restaurants. However, when you’re living somewhere, you become a local, and they can be a tough crowd.
Don’t forget; you’re the odd one out as a foreigner. People may take a little longer to warm up to you or interact the same as friends back at home.
If you’re having a particularly challenging time making new connections, consider turning to social media. It’s pretty easy to do a simple search for other expats in your area.
You can join a forum for people who have similar interests. The internet provides a chance to get to know people who you may not have been able to meet on the street.
Not All Cultures Are Created Equal
Back at home, you may be the life of the party. You may be used to cracking vulgar jokes and making the room light up with laughter. However, it’s important to remember that not all places appreciate the same behaviors.
Learning what works and what doesn’t work requires patience with yourself. Eventually, you’ll catch on to the local basics of etiquette, but you will probably make a lot of mistakes in the beginning.
It’s probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with the biggest cultural no-no’s before moving abroad.