Wednesday, 9 April 2014

What is the best way to keep track of your expat experience?

During your time living and working abroad so many exciting things happen: whether that’s celebrating your first Thanksgiving away from home, buying your Christmas tree during the summer, or eating spicy curries or sauerkraut und schnitzel for the first time. Maybe you are craving air conditioning, instead of putting on the heating on, or getting used to the fast pace of big city life. In other words, a lot of new things happen when you become an expat. But how do you keep up with all these changes and retain your memories, especially if your time as an expat will be short-lived? Here are our tips on tracking your expat life.

Creative Commons/Antara
Keep digital records
If you are savvy with digital media and social platforms, a great way to keep track of your past is by setting up a blog. This can be private if it’s for personal perusal only, or you can make it public to let family and friends back home share your experiences. Adding photographs and videos will make it into a real and interactive piece of art, which will continue to remind and inspire you.

The more old-fashioned way how to remember the things you are going through is to create a keepsake box or personal treasury. You can collect tickets to events, photos, stones and shells, even everyday objects. It all depends on where you pass your new life. You could even include notes reminding your future self of each object’s significance. And if you’re super dedicated keeping a daily or weekly diary or journal will see you following the example of many famous expats!

Include the kids
If you’ve made the move abroad with your family, a great way to keep track of your experiences collectively is to create a ‘memory jar’. Place the jar in the kitchen and encourage both children and adults to post notes in it describing things they enjoy about life abroad. You can transform the notes into a great scrap book or family memory album. 

If you’ve made the move abroad, we want to hear from you! The 2014 Expat Explorer survey is now open! Take 15 minutes to help fellow expats by letting us know your views on life abroad and spread the word to expat family and friends by sharing the link here and using the hashtag #EESurvey14.

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