Did your company transfer you to a new location? Or maybe your spouse’s company is opening a new office abroad? Are you studying at a foreign university? Whatever the reason for moving to a different country – you are an expat now and you might as well start to embrace your new home and the local lifestyle.
Moving to a new country can be exciting, stressful and overwhelming all at the same time. Not knowing the language, culture or traditions can be scary when you don’t know what to expect or how to act. But this is where you live now and the best way to learn about your new location and the people is to “experience” it firsthand.
Yes, a little internet research can get you started but if you want to really make this new location your home then you need to get out of the house! Take a walk around your local area and see what’s nearby. Go shopping, you don’t even need to buy anything just look around and take in the unfamiliar food packaging, the cost of clothing and what time the shops open and close.
If you are hungry why not try some local food? Skip the international fast food chain that you are familiar with and find out where the locals go for lunch instead. Need to go somewhere? Why not leave the car at home and try out the local transportation options – you can learn a lot about a culture just by riding the bus or taking the subway.
Embracing your new expatriate location can be an adventure you will remember the rest of your life so make sure you keep your eyes and ears open – take it all in and savour every moment.