Be open to
new experiences, activities...
may end up someplace with very different resources, and activities.
For example, if you live in a big city with lots of public
transportation, and you move to a suburb where you must rely
on a car. Or, maybe the gym is now several towns away, instead
of down the street. Be open to trying new activities –
perhaps there’s a nature trail by your house so you
can hike, instead of going to the gym. Maybe your town has
a quarterly festival, and you can volunteer to cook something.
Always be open to, and on the lookout for, new ways to integrate
into the community. It will help you make more friends, and
you might just find a new hobby you enjoy!
sure you understand any important traditions of your host
city. For example, Japan has levels of bowing. France and
many other Western European cities have different levels of
formality woven into their languages. Time and punctuality
are often treated very differently between cultures. It’s
important that you understand and respect significant cultural
behaviors in order to be accepted and set your expectations.
Be brave enough
to make mistakes...
you move to another country, learning the local language is
important for communicating basic needs, but even more important
to develop friendships. However, don’t fall into “The
Perfect Language Trap”. The one who will be most insulted
by your language mistakes is – YOU. Most foreigners
I’ve met have been delighted that I at least tried to
speak their language, even if I butchered it. You immediately
receive compassion, some language tips, and someone who will
be glad to help you as you transition. Also, I began some
of my best friendships with hilarious language blunders. Remember,
laughter is a very bonding experience!
you need help or information, just ask. Even if it means talking
to total strangers. For example, if you see someone coming
out of a restaurant you’re curious about, dare to ask
them how they liked the food, or if they would recommend the
place. Most people will be glad to give you honest feedback,
and you could learn some unexpected tips. If you’re
shy, you need to step outside your comfort zone a bit to meet
people and get tips, especially if you have kids. You’ll
need to meet local parents so you can help your children make
will shift your core relationships. If you’re married,
one of you will most likely be following the other. In this
instance, the trailing spouse may change from money-earner
to dependent. The trailing spouse normally sacrifices more
than the one who has a job. You may also have to sacrifice
common goals you had back home and recreate new ones. Be sensitive
to each other’s needs, work together to be supportive
of possible resentment, and then create strategies to move
forward. The same goes if you have children – encourage
open feedback and ideas.