Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Expat traits

Some people are just born to be expats; those that are constantly on the move with itchy feet after a short period of time in one location. According to the 2012 HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, more than one in five expats have lived in 3 or more destinations. So today we’re taking a look at some of those traits that make a serial expat:

Picture source: Wikicommons

Easy to adapt

Being in unfamiliar surroundings often means the daily chores in life take that bit longer. An experienced expat is good at taking all this on the chin and accepting that sometimes expat life has different challenges to home life. Try to make local friends so you can understand things such as utility bills and the way of taking out essential services such as gas and mobile phone contracts. Also remember to allow that bit of extra time for things. For example if going to an unfamiliar part of town, give it a bit longer in case you get lost or find yourself on an unexpected diversion. 

Language skills

One of the potential obstacles with relocation is understanding the local language or dialect. Having the confidence to try to speak a new language is particularly important and is often endearing to the local residents who appreciate expats making the effort put in. Luckily there are lots of tools to help in the digital age although there is no better way to develop than going out there and talking to people to hone your language skills.

Good at making friends

The serial expat is forever leaving one place and moving on to the next which can entail leaving friends and family behind. One of the best ways to help you deal with missing friends and family is to make new ones in your destination.  Think about visiting local nightlife destinations or going to sports matches, also don’t forget the local clubs and societies that exist, particularly within the expat community, as these can be a great way to make friends with both locals and expats. 

Picture source: Wikicommons

Able to blend in

As an expat it is important to respect the local cultures and customs. Adapting to the local environment and making a new country home can take a long time although the seasoned expat is able to adapt to new cultures easily. For those expats looking to make the culture assimilation easier, think about talking to experienced expats from your country and try to build up a regular lifestyle pattern to help you feel more structured in your new location. 

Are you a serial expat? What traits do you think make a good expat? Leave us a comment in the box below.

Expat Explorer returns for another year! Tell us your experiences today. Just click here to start!

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