HOW YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE WINNING AS AN EXPAT

HOW YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE WINNING AS AN EXPAT

Ask those who have already done it, and you’ll probably be told that upping sticks and moving to a different country is one of the most exhilarating but scary things you can take on in life.

If you’re considering doing the same, some friends and family will definitely call you brave, others perhaps stupid – but most seasoned expats will probably tell you they’re neither; they’re the same person they always were before – just in a different place. And it’s the place they’ve chosen to live which makes the difference.

HOW YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE WINNING AS AN EXPAT

Alfama Palace Residence Lisbon

A home from home

Some folk far from “home” are happier if they have familiar touchstones they can fall back on when life seems a little odd or out of kilter.

Some expats choose to make most of their friends among others who are of the same nationality, for example; others may also try to ensure they have comforts from “home” ready to hand. You’d be surprised how many things don’t seem like so much of a crisis if you have proper tea and your favourite biscuits to fall back on.

At the extreme end, there will even be some who live within a bubble where the only real difference to “home” seems to be the weather. They’re probably not xenophobic; it’s often just a lack of confidence in their ability to use a different language – something which can prove to be a huge barrier for those who claim to be too much of an old dog to learn new tricks.

HOW YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE WINNING AS AN EXPAT

Life to the max

But there are also those too who will throw themselves into the adventure without any apparent fear of failure. They’ll raise eyebrows with their attempts to become a part of their new community, they may appear to have invented some sort of time machine that allows them to be in several different places at once, they’ll smile as they mangle the local language in their first attempts to be understood in the restaurants and down at the market and they’ll post everything on their social media accounts.

Which type of expat tends to be the most successful? The truth is, either … as long as they can learn to be flexible and roll with the punches that their new life throws at them. There will be many and varied challenges along the way – each one with the potential for considerable embarrassment.

But, from experience and having got to know quite a few expats ourselves, you only really know that you’ve probably made the transition successfully when your new life feels … normal.

You won’t necessarily take everything for granted or feel totally at home. But, suddenly, you’ll realise you no longer have metaphoric white knuckles from hanging on too tight and you’re beginning to anticipate the twists and turns of the rollercoaster that your life became when you first made the decision to move abroad.

Just like life anywhere else, the excitement may still be there at times; you may still have moments when you feel like the stranger in a strange land. But, nonetheless, you don’t rail against them or feel persecuted or alone. You simply accept them as part of your everyday life – and you like it that way.

For further information or is you want to see any of our beautiful homes in the sun, please contact us at Keyholders International.

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