Spending an extended period in another country can be one of the most enriching, exciting experiences there is. You get to see another piece of the world. You learn not only about other cultures, but a lot about yourself too. It gives you the opportunity to strengthen skills and traits that will serve you well in all areas of life, from improving communication to increased tolerance and understanding. But, like anything in life, you can’t have the sweet without the sour. If you are dealing with a bit of a rough patch in your new homeland, here are some tips to deal.
Don’t Resist, It’s Normal
When we first move abroad, it is easy to think everyday will be filled with excitement and wonder. You will be in a constant state of stimulation and amazement. But, living somewhere for a longer period is very different than passing through on vacation. After awhile, things that were interesting or quirky simply become annoyances. You will start to see things you may not like. Things that don’t make sense become frustrating, and you may feel a bit hostile.
Don’t fight this, it’s okay. Resisting it will just make it worse. Holding an unrealistic idea about what the experience of living abroad is supposed to be like will be detrimental in the long run.
Accept these moments, and they will pass more quickly.
Do What You Can to Provide Some Comfort
What can you do that will make you feel better, or provide a taste of home? Maybe it might be heading to the McDonald’s for some good old American fast food, even though you swore you would never go. Maybe it is heading to the bar frequented by expats from your home country, even though you tried to avoid it and mingle with the locals as much as possible. Maybe it is watching some of your favorite TV online. Perhaps you are a huge anime fan… unblock the anime site Funimation with a DNS proxy, or Netflix or whatever site allows you to view your preferred entertainment.
You might want to withdraw for a bit from your normal routine when possible… honor that.
Remember You Are Somewhere Different
Our culture played a huge role in shaping who we are, and what we believe to be right, appropriate, etc…And for this reason, we can have very strong opinions about things being done differently. We make lots of judgments, and conclude our way is ‘better.’ But, if we can remember we are somewhere different, a place that has a different history, a different predominant religion, a different way of looking at the world, we can begin to see there is no one way things should be. This can be very helpful in minimizing our irritation with things we think are ‘wrong’ ‘stupid’ or don’t ‘make sense’ in our minds.
Focus on what you like about where you are…perspective is everything. No place is a utopia. You don’t have to love everything about a place to love it overall.