When you move to a new country, the term expat or expatriate becomes all too familiar. You will come across people native to that nation referring to you as an expat to the point where you start calling yourself one. However, turning into an expatriate entails more than the title and usually involves changing your entire life.
Whether you are starting a new business, found a new partner, or simply want to start a new life, becoming an expatriate is one of the most exhilarating and courageous ways to chase what you desire. If you have never been overseas for longer than a few days or on a business trip, then you will want to read the following simple and straightforward tips for an easier path:
1. Do Your Homework before deciding which country you will be an Expat
Moving to a new country entails numerous changes. Everything from laws, food, culture, customs, climate, and healthcare will most likely be different. As such, you do not want any surprises, and the best way to ascertain this is by conducting research. An example is the immunizations you need. It is always a good idea to visit if you can before making the decision to move, take out single trip travel insurance to cover your trip.
2. Be Open-Minded about starting a new life in a new country
This one is a no-brainer if you are considering moving countries, but it deserves emphasis. Part of moving to a new nation is new experiences. This means you will have to adjust to a new routine. The sooner you welcome this change the better.
3. Keep Your Expat Life Goals Clear and Concise
Even if you are moving due to work, this presents an opportunity to grow not just professionally, but personally. As such, it is advisable to make several goals of what you would like to see, experience, and achieve while overseas. This will make your move more productive and satisfactory.
4. Socialize With the Locals (they will be your new friends in your expat life)
It is normal for everyone to get lost in a foreign country. You may also want to look for expats like you, i.e. those who have common things and experiences as yourself. However, if you are looking to get a taste of the local culture and customs, you’ll want to interact with the locals. By befriending the locals, you will know what to do and what not to do. Life shouldn’t be about socializing with the ex-pat community or just using social media apps like Instagram and Facebook. Get out there and meet real people.
5. Know the Necessities in your new country
Even if you are moving permanently, it is not advisable to uproot your whole property. So, before you pack for the new journey, ensure you look at a few shipping options in order to determine what to take with you and what to leave.
If you will be moving soon or are newly relocated, the tips in this guide will help you blend in into the new country.
6. Go Out of Your Comfort Zone (how else will you acclimate to your expat life?)
When relocating to a new country, it is difficult for anyone to fit in, even if you are naturally extroverted. However, the sooner you get out of your comfort zone, the faster you will become acquainted with the locals and comfortable with the new setting. This doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as passing by your neighbor when running in the morning, joining the community group, etc. All these small steps give the impression that you are actually interested in where you’re currently living.
7. Join the Locals – so you start to blend in and are not thought of as the Expat
Next, you will want to learn about the culture and customs in your new neighborhood. This might seem stressful at first, but you can ease into it if you mingle with the locals at local events. Most countries tend to have national holidays, events, football matches, etc. This presents an opportunity to learn more about their culture and tradition. This way, you not only get educated but meet new and interesting people.
8. Stay in Touch Back Home
When you become an expat, you have to adapt to new ways of living, but this does not mean you forget your native country. This is specific to your loved ones and friends. While it is difficult to settle in a new country, staying in touch with those back at home motivates you to keep going and explore the new environment. As mentioned earlier, you’ll naturally find an expat who is either been in the country for a long time or just started. If you come across an expat store, shop and interact with the owner as they will have ingredients and food items from your native country. Some people take time to adapt to new variants of cheese, spices, drinks, etc. This is especially the case with children as they take the longest time to adjust.
9. Get to Know Other Expats
As mentioned earlier, you need to get out of your comfort zone and befriend the locals. However, this does not mean that you should not get to know those that have relocated like you. By having those who have migrated as well in your circle, you will have a lot of insight into a lot of things. They will tell you about their experiences, what they have learned, and even provide business opportunities if you are there for that reason. Having people who are experiencing the same around you helps make everything easier.