Tuesday, 1 July 2014

When boredom strikes: how to keep expat life interesting

Moving to a different country can be very exciting… but…what happens when boredom strikes?
The first few months or even years of your new adventure may be a whirlwind of fantastic experiences, but what should you do when the routines of daily life set back in, and when your enthusiasm (dare we say it) slightly wears off? This relapse from the heady heights of new expat life might make you feel a bit lost, perhaps a bit homesick, but it is important to remember that this is part of the course and is entirely normal.

It is important to fight back though - don’t just let your expat life become mundane and monotonous, and definitely don’t give up and go home.  Instead, try and reinsert some sustainable excitement into your expat life, so that it lives up to your initial expectations and you make the most of it. If you get stuck in a rut, why not try out some of these tips to reinvigorate your expat life and keep boredom at bay.

Image source: Wikimedia commons / BrokenSphere
Try a new hobby and get involved

If you find yourself doing the same things every day, and feel like you’re stuck in a boring routine, then it might be time to take up a new hobby. Find out what’s available locally and try it out, even (especially!) if it is something you wouldn’t normally do!

Ask yourself whether you know your neighbours well enough, or even at all. These people are potential friends and they are on your doorstep, so why not set up a book club, host a dinner party, or take part in a community event to meet them and boost your social life.

Image source: Wikimedia commons / KayaZaKi
Have you tried it all?

We’re humans - we love what we know and as a result are often reluctant to try new foods. Can you really say you’ve tried all the national favourites? If the answer is no then it’s time to get the recipe book out, and visit some local foody haunts. Whether you like the national dishes or not, trying out new things will always make you feel more involved and your expat experience will be given a culinary revival. Plus, remember that they are national delicacies for a reason – so they are probably delicious.

But, if you’re having one of those evenings of browsing the internet for affordable flights home, maybe it’s time to go the other way and revert to you home comforts.  Cook up a nice meal with some friends (“just like mama used to make”) that reminds you of home so it doesn’t feel so far away. This is a good way to keep homesickness at bay.

Image source: Flickr / Dennis Wong

Relax and enjoy yourself

Moving to a new place is no easy task. There’s always so much to do, and you might find that your life feels like it is jam-packed full of admin as you establish yourself in the new country. But, once you’re a bit settled in, just remember to relax and enjoy yourself.  Whatever it is that you like doing - whether it’s reading a book, going for a hike or going to the spa - make time for yourself and do it. Savour the moment and remember why you moved, and do all those things you planned to do before arriving but never got the chance to do in the busy first few months. 

How do you keep your expat life interesting? Let us know in the comments section below or by tweeting @expatexplorer!

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