If you’re thinking of becoming an expat, I’m sure you’ve imagined the exotic scenery and delicious food. You’ve thought swimming and hanging out on the beach all day. But when you think long and hard about it, you’ve got to understand it isn’t all going to be a bed of roses. There will be some serious challenges to consider.
1. Plans change
First, plans do change. You may realize that your money is going to run out faster than you thought. You could get really sick. Mother nature could disrupt the area. You may love where you are at and decide to stay. Make a plan for if the duration changes.
If you decide to cut your stay short and leave immediately, have a plan of where you will stay. Hopefully, family and friends can help you out temporarily until something to rent becomes available.
On the other hand, if you decide to stay longer you you friends or family may not want to hold on to your stuff longer. Your best bet is to store all of your stuff with a company with flexible terms.
2. Relationships are Tough.
Long distance relationships can strain even the strongest relationships. If your in a different country your time zone will be different as well as your schedule. Your life there may have you starting your day earlier or ending later. Not to mention, its important to meet new people. It can be difficult to fit each other into your schedules.
3. Every Day Won’t be an Epic Adventure.
You’ve dreamed of living in your swimsuit or taking long hikes to exciting places. Maybe you will learn to swim. Every day won’t be a vacation. There will be laundry to do, meals to cook, dishes to wash, and groceries to buy. Most other countries aren’t set up like America. In America you can go grocery shopping once a week and get all that you need. Other countries, its a daily affair. Fresh fish, fruit, and vegetables are bought daily. When you are seriously thinking about being an expat remember to include your daily chores.
Being lonely is a major part of being an expat. In the beginning you aren’t going to know anyone. There will be shopping alone and meals alone. In time, you will meet people and have a group of friends. It may be hard for you to know that your friends and family are living life without you. There will still be holidays and get togethers even when you aren’t there. Prepare yourself for homesickness and remember that it won’t last forever.
Becoming an expat can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is important to know what your getting yourself into. Do your research first. Remember, every day life will still be similar to your life now. There will be laundry and dishes, not to mention work. Prepare yourself for the not so glamorous part of expat life.