Friday, 23 May 2014

How to get to grips with transport abroad

Whatever method of transport you’re used to, it’s likely to change when you become an expat – whether that’s your morning commute, the school run or the weekly shop. In a new country you’ll have new buses to catch, new routes to take.-Maybe you’ll have to work out how the Metro, Tube or trains work and try and decipher different signs, perhaps your route will be longer and hotter. One thing’s for sure, you can count on it being different. 

As is always the case with expat life, you’ll find that it can take a while to get used to things. – We think the best way is to jump straight in and give it a try, but here are a few pearls of wisdom to help you on your way (quite literally!):   

Do your research
Research is important and taking the time to find out what shops and transport you have around your neighbourhood will pay off.  If you have time before you start work or do the school run; why not take a day to just have a look around, explore, and maybe even get a little lost. In the lead-up to starting a new job, give your drive, bus or train journey a trial run before you do the real thing; there is nothing worse than being late to work on your first day! 

It’s also worth thinking about the new customs of your home and familiarising yourself with the local laws, customs and etiquette to avoid being caught out e.g. eating on a train in Singapore can result in quite a hefty fine. And if you are planning on going for a drive in Denmark or any of Scandinavia you better make sure you have your headlights on, as this is a law even if it’s sunny! 

Creative Commons / Alaine Givillet
Just ask  
Everyone needs a bit of help sometimes so don’t be afraid to ask. Although it depends where you are, it’s rare that people will be unwilling to help. Getting around the language barrier can be problematic sometimes, so having a map to hand could help to combat this.   

Be patient
Finding your way around takes time and, if you’re finding things difficult, it’s always good to bear in mind that things WILL get easier eventually. Make the most of your friends or work colleagues to help you find your feet.  If you’re there on your own, head out to explore – just don’t forget your phone and trusty A-Z…!  

Creative Commons / Entrer dans le reve

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