This blog post originally appeared on Living in Another Language. Go ahead… visit her blog. You won’t be disappointed. :)
If you’re new to my website, let me give a quick explanation as to why I created this expat link-up. Because I started my travel and lifestyle blog while living abroad in Scotland, and because we had been moving around every 6 months for my husband’s job, I wanted to connect with other women (and men) in the same situation. This lifestyle can be challenging at times so it’s incredibly important to find a support system. I’ve laughed, cried, and vented to the bloggers I’ve met because of The Expat Diaries, and built extremely close friendships. And that’s why this announcement is difficult for me… next month will be the last Expat Diaries. TEARS!
Since I’ve settled down in Northern Virginia and Chelsea is back in the States planning an RV trip around the country, we both decided to call it quits. Now, that doesn’t mean that we won’t be abroad again at some point (Umm.. Chelsea? Can we move to a random country together?), but right now we want to focus on other aspects of our blog.
I know, I know… some of you filled out a google document to co-host (ahh, so sorry!) and I promise I’m going to try and fit everyone else in next month, and if you don’t absolutely need to co-host, let me know because I’ll give you a free ad space on my blog!
The last Expat Diaries is scheduled for Thursday, April 3rd and I hope to see you all there! And now onto more important things…
What They Don’t Tell You Before Moving Abroad:
1. People will look at you funny — and it’s hilarious.
Whenever we left our flat in Scotland to run errands, whether it was going to the grocery store or buying a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks, people would stop and stare as soon as they heard our American accents. At one point when I was at the coffee shop while B was at work, someone actually approached me and complimented my accent. Thanks, Scots!
Building on this…
2. Even if you’re in an English-speaking country, communicating is sometimes difficult.
First of all, Scottish accents are really, really hard to understand. Like, really hard. I’d catch myself blankly staring and nodding way too often because I had no clue what these men and women were saying, and everyone was probably like, “What the hell is wrong with this weird American girl?!”. When in doubt, smile. That’s what I always say.
Secondly, just because you speak the same language doesn’t mean you use the same words for the same things. I remember asking someone where a trash can was and they were completely confused because I didn’t use the word “bin”. Little things like that made living abroad… interesting. I explain this in more detail here.
3. You’ll lose a lot of your friends back home.
I’m not trying to make moving abroad sound depressing, because it was the best thing I’ve ever done, but I lost a lot of friends. Sometimes distance does not make the heart grow fonder and eventually, you lose touch — mainly because you’ve chosen to take a different life path and people think you’re crazy for moving around so often. But don’t let that stop you because…
4. You’ll grow tremendously as an individual.
I’ve always been an independent person, but wow did I learn a lot about myself abroad. I didn’t have family and friends to lean on because we were overseas all alone, so I spent a lot of time reading, writing, finding new hobbies, and roaming around the city in my spare time. It made me more creative, more appreciative of the little things in life, and it made me a lot stronger. Plus I no longer want to strangle myself when in my own company. Yay!
5. You’ll become addicted to travel.
I want to explore the entire world now. Now! I want to learn about different cultures, cook strange foods — I just want to live a wanderlust-filled life. That’s the beauty of being brave and moving your life abroad; it’s opens you up to so much more. So get on that, okay?
What has moving abroad taught you? P.S. Say hello to our lovely co-hosts The Rococo Roamer, Sunshine to the Square Inch, and Wanderlust.
Filed Under: Expat