Living abroad is not as easy as the movies make it sound. There’s a lot of logistical decisions you don’t see when you are planning your big move, and obstacles that show up unexpected. However, it’s still one of the best decisions you could make, since you get to experience a new culture, language, cuisine, and a whole new set of friends that are in with you on this adventure!
There are some things I wish I’d known before I moved, so here’s my comprehensive list of what I wish someone had told me before I packed my things and shipped off:
It will get lonely. You’ll be in a new country away from your family and friends, and it takes some time to get used to living without your support system 24/7. Be patient with yourself, and give it time to settle in.
Join things! The best way to meet people is to join activities. Combine the the best of both worlds, and choose a hobby that will occupy your free time, give you some happiness, and allow you to meet people with the same interests as you.
Make time for exercise. Most likely the stress of going through all the bureaucratic process of living abroad will accumulate on you, so set some time to blow off some steam. If you don’t like the gym, try walking or jogging in the parks, yoga classes or just biking around a couple times a week.
Don’t worry so much about the language. Locals are usually very accommodating to the fact that you don’t speak the language fluently, so don’t be afraid to stumble in your words, or even say the wrong thing. There’s so many translation apps these days, don’t be scared to use them or to take your time communicating with someone. You’re still learning.
Have fun! This will be a lifetime experience, so travel, try new food, laugh with your friends and document it so you can remember it in the future.