Lifestyle, Travel

Tips on starting the Expat Life

Are you thinking of making an adventurous move, like living as an expat?, then this post is for you.

At a time in most people’s life, you feel like exploring other countries. Sometime, this decision may come as a result of cross posting in your company, needing better pay, trying out a new career, going through a devastating break-up and needing a fresh start, marriage, studies, trying to see life outside the box of the media etc.

Whatever your reason might be, you find out sometimes that after the excitement that you are moving wears down, the fear of uncertainty sets in (which is normal). As an expat that have lived in countries in  Africa, Europe, Middle East and presently in North America, these are my advice on steps to take to reduce the fear of uncertainty;

Research on your destination country: This definitely is going to be my first point because I failed to do this when we moved to Oman, and this made adaptation a bit longer for me. When my hubby informed me that we would be moving to Oman, I remember I hadn’t heard that name before but I felt if I could easily adapt to life in the UK then it was going to be easy, but that was not true.

I had to learn to adapt to almost everything including weather,  different days of the weekend etc., but now I’m so in love with Oman 🙂 Enough about me, all I’m trying to say is get to know your country of destination, research! research!!research!!!, email bloggers based in such countries and ask questions.

Make Plans: Decide on what you would do in your destination country. For instance, if you are going for a new job, ask questions from your prospective employer and make plans. Is your rent, health insurance etc. going to be covered in your monthly income? If you have kids, would their fees be paid by your company or would you pay for that personally? Would your monthly income really sustain you?, because the worst place to be stranded is in a foreign land.

I have met some people that get excited when they hear the amount they would be paid (maybe comparing it to their own currency), but when they get to their destination country, they realize they can’t survive on it. If you are satisfied with your findings and plans, then it is time to decide on what you would do with your properties (you may decide to ship, sell or keep them).

Get the news out: It is now time to inform those that officially need to know (of course you don’t need to inform the media house 🙂 ), like your boss, tax man, family, friends, etc. Then sort your utility bills and current tenancy agreement (if you are renting) etc. It’s now time for goodbye party!!! (I hate goodbyes 🙁 )

Obey the Laws: When you get to your destination, obey your host country. Come in with the right visa, make sure you researched on what is allowed and what is not allowed. Sometimes what may be Okay to do (e.g drinking alcohol) in your own country may be prohibited in your host country. They cannot change their laws for you, there is always an option for you to leave or not going there in the first place.

Make friends. Be prepared to miss your family and friends back home on some events you would have really wanted them to witness. Friends are the people that would help you adapt to your new country (I have a lot to talk on this which I would further discuss in my next post). You would need the expat community, they have been where you are now, so they know how best to advice you. It is also better to get a house around where expats live or join expat communities like Internations.

Explore: This is one of the reasons I love expat life because the knowledge you gain is immeasurable. Try to visit places within your host country, and get to know them better. Learn about their history and culture. Language may be a barrier sometimes, but with the right friends, you can always learn how to cope with the difference. Do not limit yourself to what you see on your screen, go out!

 

With these in place, you are ready for your new adventure, have fun exploring.

xx,

Stella.

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