One of the fascinating aesthetics, regarding living abroad is the sense of adventure. The foreign. The unfamiliar. It’s the fact, that you have the opportunity to see yourself, experience yourself, in another land. The excitement of witnessing your presence, in a space, unfamiliar to your knowing is what drives so many people to travel. Packing up and shipping out.
Some people have different reasons for why they decide to move abroad. Whether it be for comfort, spiritual reasons, work, study, escape, or adventure, travel is a movement of change. Travel preparation is essential. Of course, I don’t just mean the physical preparation of it all. That part is important, and yes, it is for another time. For many more times, to be exact. However, there is cultural and wellness preparation, there is other work to be developed, and shaped.
Journeying to live in another country requires a lot of spiritual and mental work. Such is necessary so that you are prepared for any barriers, along the way. Meaning, once those barriers, stumbling blocks arrive, you are more likely to handle them. Not only are you able to “handle” them, but you are able to override them. They become meaningless to you, and are unable to steal your joy. You transform these so-called “hardships,” into joyful circumstances, in a more fruitful journey. Let’s get started in seeing how you can make your travel journeys fruitful transformations, awareness, and another fairytale/storybooks for you to treasure in your life’s memory, and voyage, within Earth’s paradise.
*Read Up On the Landscapes and Culture
Be a smart traveler. Forget about going on with a sense that everyone is going to cater to you. Know that regardless of your passport status, you are still a guest. Read about customs and mannerisms. The dos and don’ts of artistic traveling are real. Online travel groups, etiquette books, and YouTube videos greatly assist with this. Simultaneously, having multiple talks with those, who have been there, is much more rewarding.
*Learn Conversational Phrases Of the Local Language
Starting off small in learning the local language allows for your to have an easier transition, once your arrive. It makes things less strange, and less familiar. Prior to my arrival in Cairo, Egypt, I had the opportunity of studying in Jordan (Summer 2008) during my undergraduate experience. Jordanian Colloquial Arabic was part of that curriculum. Let’s just say, that once I traveled to Egypt for my graduate studies, I had no problem getting acclimated to the scenery. The language was familiar, and I was able to get around in using it, despite the couple of years, which had gone by in practicing it.
*Research and Check Out With Local Hostels, Hotels
Sometimes, you may get to a country, and things may not happen as planned. Maybe, your housing wasn’t what you expected. OR, perhaps the landlord (or landlady) decides they want to act up, or change the agreement, then you have some places to stay for a week or two. Keep their numbers and contacts, on your phone. You can even contact them before coming. E-mail them. Let them know who you are, and stay connected with them until you arrive. Check out their rooms, and the pictures on their website. If you have time, stop by and check them out. If something happens with your residential living space, you have options for that week. “Don’t put all your shoes in one closet.”
*Check In With People On Travel Groups Of Your Destination
It’s great to have somewhat familiar faces on your destination. Even if it is just a couple of names from an online travel community. Let a few people know who you are, what you do, and that you are headed their direction. Have a few casual conversations online, in order to get familiar with people. Exchange contacts. You can even suggest you and a few, new, online acquaintances to have a dinner, during your first night, there. Go with the mindset, that you already belong. You would be amazed at the doors, it opens up for you.
*Share Pictures and Videos With Friends and Family Members
Dedicate yourself into having a weekly, or daily chats with loved ones. Create activities and exercises together, where you share your journey with them. Share the excitement. Do not allow being overseas to dwindle the familial and friendship flames, back home. Take yourself to a special restaurant, and set up a video chat with them, showing yourself reading the menu. When you create exciting adventures with friends and family, while you are away, you ease and extinguish any sense of being “homesick,” as you are bringing home to you. Through the digital world, family, friends, and relationships are being brought, overseas.
*Connect With Social and Cultural Clubs in Your Area
Really put in the work of engaging with your surroundings. If not with other Expats, connect with the local community-which has unique adventures of its own. Create friendships with people of the local community. This comes in handy for weekend, or week day, getaways. Do not allow being an Expat, to restrict you from the greater community. You can never be lonely, if you make each day, one of discovery.
*Be Part Of the Planning For Family To Come and Visit You
Being overseas means you are able to showcase new adventures to your loved ones. Therefore, encourage a summer trip, winter, or whenever, for them to come to your area. Use it as a time to show off, on how well you have mastered the area. I promise you they will be impressed. Take them out to some of the exciting spots, and be an active player in making their vacation experience, a true wonder.
*Partake In A Language Exchange
Rest and reassured, that there are members of the local population, who are trying to improve their English. In exchange, they’d be happy to teach you, their language. Make sure to engage in holistic linguistic exchanges. One where you are not above them, and they don’t devalue you, due to cultural, national, gender, or racial perceptions. Connect with people, who truly want to immerse in the art of language. One that unites humanity, rather than divide.
*Attend Embassy Activities and Events
While you want that foreign experience, it is also refreshing to meet people from your nation and culture. Attending embassy events, or volunteering, also provides you with that opportunity. It also gives you a sense of protection, in knowing that you can contact members within that community, should you have an emergency, need information, or even a support base. Even if you may not always have legal intervention, there are ways you can create healthy, social relationships, and avoid getting caught in horrible situations. Just remember that knowledge is power.
*Knowing the Laws Of the Land Is Great, But Certain Things You Will Learn On Your Own
Yes! Visit your embassy website. Get familiar with the laws of that land. However, do you remember that wonderful social group, we conversed about? Well, somewhere in there is a lawyer, or person of the law. Make those holistic connections. That way, if something bad were to happen, you would have the local support, and knowledge, that you need. Yes! Always make a report with the embassy should anything happen. https://www.usembassy.gov/ However, it’s important to keep the local support, as well. What one may lack, the other will complement.
Moving to live in another country is a wellness strength on its own. Yet, doing the preparation, networking, and creativity, before arriving, ensures that you will have a more enjoyable experience. It’s like you need to soak into the foreign scents, so that they are familiar to you, when you arrive. It’s the wellness way, and it reduces many of the barriers and problems, we may face. Many people like to speak about the logistics of travel. Those are important, as well. However, if you take care of this other layer of work, the logistic parts become smoother. You are stronger, wiser, and you truly live out your adventures, abroad.