Friday, 2 May 2014

Ten signs you were born to be an expat

Maybe it’s always been your dream to live and work abroad, exploring new cultures, speaking different languages, and wandering around in new cities. But are you born to be an expat? If this sounds familiar, the answer might just be yes! 

1.  You’re always looking for the next adventure
Every country is different – so an open-minded and fearless approach towards new things is always a plus. Whether it’s taking a rickshaw in the humid streets of Jakarta or trying a spicy Latin salsa in Mexico City, a ‘just-say-yes’ attitude will help you to get the most from expat life.

 Wikimedia Commons / Jonathan McIntosh

2. Curiosity is your middle name
A new country brings a new culture so being curious is another important quality. If you love to wander around in new cities, explore local markets and discover authentic restaurants and caf├ęs, expat life sounds just right for you. 

3. You’re not afraid to talk the talk 
Knowing the language is always a help when moving abroad. But if your linguistic talent doesn’t reach too far, it’s not the end of the world – you’ll be amazed how much you can pick up from body language or hand gestures. And practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to have a go at mastering the local lingo…! 

4. Patience is your virtue
Moving to a new country means a lot of hustle around passports and visas, internet and television connection, new bank accounts and paperwork. Getting these things arranged rarely happens overnight – some good organisation and a lot of patience will go a long way in helping you to manage. 

5. You live in the moment, not the past
It’s normal to miss home sometimes – everyone does. It’s important to keep in touch with family and friends who are still at home, but living in the present will mean you have a much better experience of expat life. Take every opportunity and make the most of being there, now! 

6. You’re most at home when you’re out and about
Are you always seeking new friends, or maybe love? Then the expat life is made for you. Fitting in in a new country and a new culture can be difficult. A strong network of friends and the desire to explore the space around you is an invaluable asset for a great experience.

7.  Social media is your friend
To stay in contact with the home front, social and digital media is the solution. From video calls, to putting photos online, it is a great way to let people enjoy your experiences and visa-versa. If you aren’t already familiar with social media, it’s worth making yourself familiar with it as there’s no doubt that it will improve your expat life.

Flickr / Jason Howie

8. You were born to host
A good host makes a great expat. If shipping friends and family over for a long weekend sounds like fun you are already on your way to becoming a successful expat.

9. You can see the funny side
The further you are from home, the more different the culture and habits get. Taking things with a pinch of salt and being able to laugh at yourself will help you to get more from your expat experience.

10. You love a challenge
….Because expat life can be challenging at times! However, like anything else which might take a bit of work, you’ll get out of it what you put in – so go for it!

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