Whether you were among the first or last to usher in the new year globally, 2014 is now definitively upon us, along with the annual barrage of self-deluding promises of increased fitness, multilingual fluency and bright and breezy Monday mornings.
Image source: Creative Common/en:User:Solitude
Go-getting expats, whose social and work lives pose different challenges to those who remain close to home, may especially welcome the chance to reassess and reorganise. So here’s a top five list of alternative expat resolutions for 2014:
1. Staying in touch: You may be racking up incredible phone bills, or glued to devices which allow you to chat with loved ones face to face. Alternatively, your dear but deserted relatives may hardly hear from you and be left wondering if you ever made it back from that bar, that spontaneous bungee jump or that isolated hike of self-discovery. Either way, there’s one resolution we can all make – to ensure every interaction we have with those back home is personal. Write letters, send gifts, and share photos and anecdotes from your life abroad.
2. Getting your paperwork in order: Visas, finances and records. Do it now! And make sure you’re backing up anything electronic. Expats suffer more than most from bureaucratic blunders so look to make this a stress free 2014.
3. Exercise: If getting back on the exercise treadmill is something of a New Year ritual for you, then try working out expat style. That means not retreating to an international and corporate looking gym, but exercising in ways you couldn’t back home. Make the most of your surroundings and local culture - take a morning jog past Sydney opera house, join in mass martial arts classes or take flamenco lessons. Fitness and culture here we come.
4. Learn to make…: Whether it’s a favoured tipple or a local culinary delicacy you’ve discovered abroad, save money and impress your friends by learning that recipe.
5. Share the expat love: If you’ve been living the expat life for a while, help out those who are just taking the plunge, in person or via blogging and social media. If you feel inspired to share already, add your personal knowledge to our hints and tips tool!