5 TIPS FOR SETTLING IN TO A NEW COUNTRY
Your feet have landed in your new country. Maybe your company has provided housing or you have found a new apartment/house to live in. You're slowly getting over jetlag. Now how do you adjust well to this new culture?
Here are 5 tips to help you settle in to a new country:
1) MAKE YOUR NEW HOUSE A HOME - This new apartment/house will be your refuge as you adjust to a new culture. What can help with homesickness is to have a cozy place where you can de-stress as you adjust to the new culture and a new job. Some ways to do this are to add decorations to your walls, get some cozy bedding, maybe some rugs or houseplants
2) GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD - When you first arrive and are jetlagged, it is difficult to orient yourself to your surroundings. Once you've adjusted to the new time zone, get out into your neighborhood as much as possible - whether that means taking a walk, taxi ride, bike ride, etc. Figure out where the nearest grocery store and pharmacy is, and if you're lucky maybe you'll also find some good restaurants and cafes nearby
3) LEARN THE LANGUAGE - Most likely, you're moving to a country where English isn't the first language. Learning a few phrases in the new language will make daily life much easier, as well as help the locals be more accepting of a foreigner if you are willing to learn about their language and culture
4) TRY NEW FOODS - My favorite thing about living overseas is trying different foods from all over the world! This might seem daunting at first, especially if you don't speak the language and the menu isn't in English. In this case, Google translate is your friend. Many times, the food of a country is an integral part of their culture. I'm sure you will soon find a new favorite dish, and whenever you do return to your home country, you will find yourself craving this foreign dish as much as you crave your home country's food when you first move overseas
5) MAKE NEW FRIENDS - Moving overseas can be quite an adjustment, especially if it is far from any family members. Search on Facebook for some local expat interest groups or clubs, join a church or club in your area, or make friends with your new coworkers. Your fellow expats will become your family away from home. Due to the transient nature of expat life, you will develop fast and deep friendships that will often last years later after you've moved on to different countries again. The shared experience of living as an expat in that specific country is something that no one else can understand.
With that last tip, I'd like to leave you with my favorite quote that sums up the life of an expat perfectly:
"You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."