Experience of Moving to a New Country
The experience of moving to a new country is exhilarating, nerve-racking, and life-changing.
Things are often very different in your new country than in the place you’re leaving. The sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and sensations will all be unfamiliar. You’ll have to get used to a new way of living.
While it is an exciting experience, it isn’t always easy.
Life abroad can be a rollercoaster, just as it would be in your home country. It can take some time to adjust.
If you’re wondering what it’s like moving abroad, here is everything you can expect.
The moving process itself requires a lot of planning.
It could vary depending on what type of move you are doing.
Often, people will only live abroad short-term, so they won’t need to pack everything they own. Instead, they need the essentials to live somewhere for a few months to a year.
However, even if you live abroad for just a few months, you may need to think about things like getting a passport and/or a visa.
Long-term moves will require much more planning. You’ll need to think about how to pack up all of your belongings and pair down what you need.
Keeping an open mind
When moving abroad, it’s essential to keep an open mind.
No matter how much investigation you do about a place, it’s going to be different than what you read on the internet. Articles and videos can only tell you so much about a destination. There will be many more nuances than you can imagine.
Keeping an open mind abroad will help you adjust more quickly.
If you get stuck looking for a place’s stereotypes, you might miss the beautiful things right in front of you.
Understand that no place abroad is a monolith, and many generalizations make it across borders.
Get out of your comfort zone
It’s easy to stick to your comfort zone when you’re in an unfamiliar place.
Sometimes, everything feels uncomfortable at the beginning.
It can be intimidating getting out of your comfort zone to have new experiences.
A few ways you can break out of what is familiar is to take it one thing at a time.
Push yourself to try a new thing, even if it’s something small.
Examples of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone include going to a new store, using public transportation, or exploring a new part of town.
These little wins will make it easier to face more significant challenges and will help you adjust more quickly.
How to meet new people
One concern many people have when they move abroad is meeting new people.
Meeting new people abroad isn’t always easy.
There are trials like language and cultural barriers that make it more difficult.
A few ways to meet new people abroad include:
- Meetup groups
- Language exchanges
- Out and about
- Facebook groups
- Mutual friends
- Social apps
The more you push yourself and the more people you meet, the more likely you’ll form new friendships.
You can also meet other expats who are looking for friends. More often than not, you won’t be the only person who just moved to that country.
Living and working abroad
The experience of living and working abroad might be different than it is at home.
These differences might include:
- Work/life balance
- Work hours
- Views of time
- Coworker relations
- Dress code
- Social norms
It’s essential to have at least a general understanding of what these new norms might be in your new country. Being aware of cultural differences and standards can help you avoid embarrassment or misunderstandings in your life and the workplace.
Navigating these new norms isn’t always as scary as it seems. You might even enjoy some of the cultural differences.
Navigating the local language
Language barriers can be an issue, even if you are familiar with the local language.
Sometimes, what you learn in a classroom might not translate to the real world. Or, you might be a beginner who is unsure of navigating life in a foreign language.
No matter which group you fall into, there are a few tricks to feel more comfortable in your local community.
One is to keep a notebook with you and jot down common phrases you hear. This strategy will help you sound more natural.
Another would be to go to local language exchanges or language courses. These will help you brush up on conversation and grammar.
Practice is the best way to hone your speaking and listening skills.
Travel the world
While abroad, you’ll have access to new places.
If you can, explore and travel the world around you.
Living in a new country gives you opportunities to see new areas. You don’t even have to venture to a different country/state/or region to see new things.
You can explore all the corners of your new backyard.
Get out as much as possible and explore a new neighborhood, city, region, or country.
Take advantage of being away from home and seeing something new.