Tuesday, September 30, 2014

3 tips for living in a foreign country

As someone who has spent a little while living in different countries, I have learnt a few things that are important to settling in a new country. Some of them may be obvious, however some of them you simply wouldn't think of before packing up and heading off on your new adventure.

1. Don't expect to get the same food you got back home

Despite moving to London from Australia, there is so much food from home that I had no idea they didn't sell here. I could talk about the obvious Twisties and Tim Tams but no I'm talking about things like puff pastry. Puff pastry sheets are nowhere in the UK. They only sell weird rolled up puff pastry or blocks just to make it that little bit more difficult for us. Good luck trying to find Angostora bitters as well. I managed to find a bottle in a tiny town in the middle of England, but aside from that they are nowhere to be seen.

Be prepared to get used to another country's food, and learn to embrace it.

2. You will face cultural differences no matter the country

I have lived in Ireland, England and of course my home country Australia, but they couldn't be more different. Each country has a completely different mindset, sense of humour and a way of going about things that can take some time to get used to. My favourite phrase to hear in Ireland when asking for directions was, "well if you want to be going there, you wouldn't be starting from here!" Now that phrase just didn't make sense to me. I felt like saying, "well I'm here now so I need to get there!" But to the Irish, it seems to makes perfect sense.

Learn to enjoy a new culture, and try not to constantly think, "back home things were done this way!"

3. Your home country will (most likely) always be there

When moving to a new country, you are probably going to miss it. But if travel is really important to you, don't give it up just because you're worried about change. It is likely that you will change so much more than anyone or anything back home. 

Don't hold back from travel because you are worried about what you are leaving behind, real friends will be waiting for you whether you are gone a week or a year.

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