Destinations Magazine

3 Tips for Being a Happy Expat

By Twothirstytravellers @2thirstytrav

I’ve technically been an expat for a total of 4.5 years if you mean living in one place only. But I have spent the better part of the past decade overseas. I’ve learned so much in my time living in foreign countries that I wanted to share some of my top tips for being a happy expat. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows when you’re living on the other side of the world to your family, but there are so many benefits and fun adventures to be had if you give yourself the opportunity. Here are my top 3 tips for being a happy expat.

1. Learn the Language
If you’re moving to a country that speaks another language, then you might feel overwhelmed with learning the language and how you will get by. It’s possible to get by without speaking a word of the language, but it’s honestly not a fun way to live and restricts how much you can interact with locals and how easy day to day tasks will be for you. I’ve been living in Guatemala 4.5 years now and while my Spanish isn’t perfect, I can do everything I need and want to do, from banking, buying property right through to cracking a few jokes. It makes it so much easier for me to get by every day when I can communicate properly and it also makes me feel more secure living here knowing I can express myself.
2. Don’t Play the Compare Game
It can be tempting to compare where you’re living to where you’re from. I’m sure there are benefits to both places, but you may start to feel more fondly about your home city or country as time goes on. It can be very challenging living somewhere where everything functions differently to what you’re used to. But instead of comparing the two places to each other, why not take the place where you’re an expat for what it is. There must be some benefits or positive aspects that initially made you want to live there. If you’re planning to move any time soon, check out https://www.mybekins.com/location/sarasota-fl-movers/ for some great options.

3. Make Friends
It can be hard when you’re in a new place as an adult to make friends. I find the best way to create your tribe is to do the things you love and you should hopefully meet other people that love those things too. Head to the gym, or yoga studio, and arrive a little early to class. During those extra five minutes before class starts, why not strike up a conversation with someone else there who’s also interested in the same things as you. Most cities also have regular meet-ups organized through websites like… meetup.com join them and see what fun events are being hosted in your area that appeal to you. Facebook is another great resource for meeting people with similar interests and needs as you. I’m a member of a Guatemala Expat group and I’ve made lots of great connections through that group. Making friends will make your new city feel more like home, which is always a welcomed step.
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