You’re probably here and now because you live abroad or plan to move to another country and you’re looking for tips for expats. Whatever the case, welcome! Because MobileRecharge team managed to collect some great tips for expats or exptas-to-be, shared by fans and friends living abroad. And this is only Episode #1.
First, we started our quest thinking… expats are sometimes regarded as a single big group. Yet, people from the diaspora come from many backgrounds and all countries you can spot on Google Maps. In translation, they have different skin, cultural skills and knowledge, and definitely diverse experiences as unique individuals.
You may be curious to know how life changed for other expats like you, where to go to get a work permit, or so. We were most curious about the lessons of the expat new life for general happiness and easy adaptation.
So, MobileRecharge.com asked expats What advice would you give to other expats?
#1 Live their lives
In other words, adapt to the new culture by imitation. No mechanically, of course. But follow the locals’ habits, procedures, and understand the new society that welcomed you. Get the grip of their philosophy.
The advice comes from Alfredo Martinez, a Mexican who moved to the USA years before trying to “learn a new life.” But many other expats gave the same piece of advice.
Oh, one of the first things on the list is the language. Learn the language! Many communities offer free classes for expats.
“Learn the culture and adapt, become part of the community. LISTEN.” (Lee Schulz)
#2 Meet other people than your country fellows
“Get into the society quick. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the new culture by only meeting people from your own country.” (Karin Hiort, Swedish in the USA)
#3 Integrate, but keep your identity!
“Integrate into the country you are living in, without losing your identity. (Ram Lakshmanan)
Your past is what gives you the roots. Sad, hard, full of happiness or controversial, whatever the case, it is part of who you are, it gave you a meaning, it shaped your personality.
One of the great advantages of living abroad is to see the contrast between you and the others. To realize how you’re different from the locals, and what you can bring ew to the table. Identify what you have special, unique and treat them as a gift you’ve been give.
Kechichian is a retired expat. He points out how important it is to remember all your past, in order to have some strong identity roots, a clear standpoint where to start again, or add new ingredients.
“To live in the country that you have chosen, but not to forget your own country.” (Kechichian Vahe, moved with his job and decided to stay once retired)
“Don’t forget your roots!” (Stella Peterson, Librarian)
#4 Use MobileRecharge.com to support your folks back home
“I really would recommend this company to anyone. I use these guys to recharge the cell phones of my Cuban pastor friends who can’t afford it otherwise. It’s very reliable, on the up and up and I can pull a history of all transactions. Honestly, WAY better than original expectations and I’ll continue to use them. (C. Derby on Trustpilot.com)
“If I can do it easily aged 66 then anyone can do it, and my girlfriend always gets the correct top up and quickly. What more can you ask for.” (Michael on Trustpilot.com)
#5 Do volunteer work to make friends
This is how Gillian McConnell decided to meet new people from the local culture. She moved from England to Canada in search for adventure. She is now retired and misses her family back home. Yet, her new friends and her new life in Canada keeps her happily there.
#6 Don’t lose faith if you want to move back home!
The advice comes from David Masson, a sport fan living in Canada.
Many expats move to a new country for economical reasons. They plan to gather some money and go back to their motherland, start a business, pay for education or just afford a different life with the money earned abroad. Some cannot adapt to the new culture or miss family and friends too much to stay.
#7 Enjoy as much as you can
Thank you Angel Cabrera for your magical piece of advice! It works!
Angel works as an au-pair in the USA. He’s from Paraguay and became addicted to adventure and novelty!
It’s all about perspective. If you have little, that;s a chance to have fun reading, or getting together with others to prepare dinner. Or go to swap fairs to save on money. You’ll meet new nice people there.
Or if you have little time for yourself, walk or call people by.
Or if you are alone, that’s a good chance to spend time with yourself, see what you like, get to know yourself, watch a movie, volunteer, have a foamy bath. Just enjoy it, whatever it is! We only have the now and here, death and taxes. :)
#8 Stay connected with your family
That’s what Botir told us. He loves fishing, and found out the hard way how important family is, especially in times of trouble. Unconditional love is what families win the Olympics for and that cannot be busted.
#9 Keep your dreams in times of trouble
There are moments in an expat life when you want to give up and get back to motherland. Just like in any marriage, any job, busy traffic day, etc. It’s human… Those who look for patience in themselves, and surpass the rocky moment, will have the satisfaction of limits overcome.
Roy Shin loved reading, so he came to the USA to study. He’s now a professor, passionate by traveling. After telling us he misses family badly, his advice for the rest of his expat fellows was “Keep your dreams and work hard for it.” That’s what he did.
“Take everything easy and move on.” (Eric Esron, from Burundi & lives in USA)
#10 Be open-minded, don’t make assumptions or judgments
What’s vital when you are an alien is to be an open minded alien. Funny enough, that’s what you also expect from others. To let go the judgemental frame of mind and look at you with new eyes, human eyes. Be the first to set the model. Give that openness before you ask for it. Oh, and don’t forget everyone does their best, just like you, so help them trust you, show your face to them, before you expect them to guess who you are. Can you guess who they are, before talking to them?
Catherine Lortie was the first to mention it. She’s a Canadian teacher living in Belize. She moved because she followed her heart to be with her loved one, yet she misses the comfort of her native home. What she compensates with are yoga and outdoor exercise.
“Stay in contact with your culture and respect the other people culture.” (AnaMaria Silvia, Phlebotomist living in the USA, originally from Colombia)
#11 Keep calm, don’t panic. Be patient, kind and polite instead
This is Ravinesh‘s piece of advice.
He’s is from Fiji and now lives in New Zealand. It was one of the best thoughts I’ve heard from an expat. This is actually a weapon and a protection shield, an open heart to learn easily. It is less expected to be patient and polite and kind when the instinct shouts out loud fury. But changing the attitude will change the reaction of those around you too. Plus, it will be exactly what you need to think straight and lucid. It will not be easy at first, but just remember it is not easy to be human for anyone. Not even for the locals, for the boss, or the other rich expats you’ve met. Learn their stories and you’ll notice it. Try it!
TO BE CONTINUED!