The challenges you are facing as an expat shape your personality, as the journey takes you on a road with ups and downs, sunshine and rainbows sometimes, but also struggles that bring out capabilities you have never been aware of before. You will more likely encounter various misconceptions about your new “fabulous” lifestyle because people back home sometimes see you in a sort of “Sex and the City meets Mary Poppins” experience, although you may experience this as “Apocalypse now”. Additionally, you are likely to deal with a number of odd questions from the new acquaintances you’ll soon meet in your newly adopted homeland, that will make you wanna say “ET phone home…”, right?
Despite all the difficulties and the hard times you may live in your expat journey, you probably feel that you wouldn’t want it any other way – and that being an expat is all worth it.
But what are the lessons you learn when being an expat? Here are 3 we found more valuable, but the list is open:
You value things differently
Expat life can make you change some of your priorities and value things differently – the more you move, the more you realize you don’t need to have so many ‘things’ and you start to really value the simplest things in life. At the same time, if before it wasn’t such a big deal to see a close friend or a family member – the day you’re away from your home country and you receive a visit from home can easily become the best day of your life.
The importance of keeping a balance
Life’s about balance, and focusing too much on one thing can easily trip you up. When you just moved abroad, finding your balance is often more difficult than normally — and also more important. For instance, expats who move for the sake of their career may give everything at their job and this new job can literally be the chance of a lifetime. But you can’t do a good job if work is all you do. So, balance is always the key!
If before moving abroad you would rather watch a movie instead of talking to your mom or dad, now staying in touch with them and helping them is of utter importance. You call them just to catch up, to find out what’s new back home or how they are feeling. Speaking of help, did you know that you can also top up their mobile phones? There’a website called MobileRecharge that you can use to send mobile credit all over the world. The service is great, you can take a look at the reviews here.
You start acting like an ambassador of your home country
When you used to live back home, you noticed many issues which were not ok, which needed to be changed… and that caused you a lot of frustration. But now that you left, each time someone talks about your home country, you feel the need to talk about its great history, about the strong values people share, about how amazing it is!
Yes, being an expat might be hard, but it’s worth the struggles. Settling abroad fills you with confidence and a great sense of achievement; it makes you a more adaptable individual and stronger towards change and future challenges.