Monday 21 January 2013

Expat Life

I've done a blog post swop, wht's that I hear you ask? Well I write an article for The Expat Hub and they write one for my blog.

After 2 years, I'm still struggling with the points below, but acceptance is coming as I meet more expats and openly discuss my feelings.

Settling in can be hard

Moving abroad and away from friends and family is never an easy decision to make. Everyone moves for their own reasons whether it is because a partner has landed a new job, or simply that you want to retire to sunnier climes. Depending on your circumstances there is a good chance that you will encounter some problems along the way. We take a look at some of the most common problems suffered by expats and how to overcome them.


By far the most common problem reported by expats wherever they are. Moving away from your loved ones and in some cases living in a nation with a completely different language can lead expats to feel isolated and alone. It’s a well known fact that many expats remain hidden inside their homes for the first few months after their move, this is because they find it difficult to socialise and mix with their new neighbours.

The best way to overcome loneliness is to push yourself to try and get involved in the local community, after all what are you going to achieve by hiding indoors all day? Check the local press for clubs and meetings to join. Do volunteer work at a charity or school, anything to get you out and mixing with the world.

The internet is also a great way of making contact with the outside world. You could join our Expathub forum and interact with other expats in similar situations. A problem shared and all that. A good trick that expats use is the fact that when you move abroad nobody really knows you! It’s the perfect opportunity to reinvent your-self.

Cultural differences

The issue of cultural differences when moving overseas is often a problem for expats. Some nations are home to a completely different way of life compared to what you’re used to so it definitely pays to do some research on your destination before you move. By knowing about the culture of your new home you can prepare yourself for the differences and be aware of what will be expected of you if you run into problems.

If you’re even contemplating about leaving your homeland for pastures new then you must be fairly adventurous already. The old saying ‘when in Roma, do as the Romans do’ is just as relevant today as when it was first said centuries ago.

Relationship problems

For any move overseas to be successful everyone involved needs to want it “as much as each other”. While there are very few cases where all parties are pulling in the same direction at the same speed and with the same strength, there needs to be a general consensus that the move overseas is in the best interests of all concerned.

Sadly many expat relationships break up after a fairly short period of time in their new country because one is unhappy or doesn’t share their partner’s enthusiasm. Don’t use a move abroad as a new chance to patch up a relationship, chances are that it will make things worse and you could end up being stranded in a foreign country. Overall if you’re going to emigrate make sure both sides of a partnership want it the same amount.

This article was provided by The Expat Hub the number one stop for expatriates looking for advice, support and information.


  1. Retirement is one of the reasons for moving abroad permanently. To some people, it is the realization of a long-time dream of spending their days away at their favorite place or country.

  2. Migrating to other places will be tough. It would take months or even years to adapt to a culture that your unfamiliar with. Good for you that you moved with your family. In this kind of situation, family support will be needed.