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10 Tips For Newly Expats

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Good morning everyone!

Good morning to all you lovely expats / expats-to-be out there!

Rise and shine! Today is the day in which I will share some more of my expat wisdom with you :) In case you have not dropped by the "Me Expat" Page, you should give it a go, as soon as you read this article, as you will find out The Stuff That None Tells You About, when Moving Abroad + some tips & tricks for when you start missing people back home (right about the time in which you will think about maybe opening up your own blog, just to make sure you know everyone is aware that you are alive and kicking). Let's face it! Some do traveling for a living, some do traveling for fun, some travel to distant places for their job - I fall under the last 2 categories: I am an EXPAT! :) 
Nobody helped me much at the beginning when I came to Poland. I basically took the jump, closed my eyes and said that either way nothing can go wrong and I would learn how to swim. And guess what? I didn't drown! I am alive and kicking, working in Poland - Krakow - for more than 4 years now! Everyone has its turning point where you will ask yourself if you should take one direction or the other - should you leave the nest and fly or stay home where it is safe and secure? Sometimes you need to have a bit of madness in yourself and do what your heart says... I followed my heart and came to Krakow, where Love found me :)
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I wanted to share with you today 10 Tips For Newly Expats & Expats To Be:
1. Get rid of the clutter and un-necessary stuff! During our life we get attached to small, insignificant things, things that take out space, things that sometimes we do not even touch once a year... ok, maybe once a year, when you dust them out at the spring cleaning... We get easily attached to things, to items of clothing, to books, to anything! and when you will want to move out, especially in a different country, and you will need to pack, you will truly see what is important for you to take. Throw the rest! You don't need it!
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2. Bring more cash than you actually think you need! You will need it, and if you don't... well... you will, trust me! Unexpected things happen! Not to mention that you will have to live the first month, as you will probably not be payed in advance. And you will have to pay rent (probably some months in advance + deposit) and eat in the meanwhile. 
The LadyBug In Its Natural Home-City: Iasi, Romania
3. Visit the country, especially if it is overseas! Don't go head on in a country you have never been before. Spend there your holiday, talk to the locals, mingle, taste the local food... see if the climate suits you. I was not going oversees, but before coming to Poland, to Krakow, I actually visited the region and the city pretty well + I knew city center already pretty well. It helps to be familiar with the places ;)
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4. Be patient - maybe even take some yoga classes to learn breathing & calming techniques! You will get pissed, you will have bad moments in which you will want to pack your things and go, but be patient! Learn to know yourself and your limits. You will not be able to learn fluent Polish after one year in Poland! (don't even try it!)
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5. Get new experiences! Be it new types of transportation/transit, be it places to eat, drink & have fun, be it places that your could interact in / museums... Explore your city, region and expand your knowledge. Be open towards people and people will be open towards yourself. Speak with the locals, they have wonderful stories to share. Learn the language, it will make your life easier, especially in situations like going to the doctor / tax office. 
The LadyBug Going To The Stanley Kubrick Expo
6. How far away from home is it = How often/long you will be able to go back home on holidays. If it is overseas, or you are in a situation like myself where there is no direct connection and you usally have to take around 2-3 planes to reach the destination... well... I can tell you this is going to be a pain! You will be happy to see your family, face to face, at least once a year & you will find that the Internet / Social Media like Skype / Facebook / Instagram is you BFF!
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7. If you thought about it, even once! then DO IT! Be an EXPAT! :) If your mind started working towards this goal, than for sure you need to try it. Nobody tells you that you should remain there forever: you can go further on in other countries, other cities, or you can go back home. But try it! Be confident and pack you bag and try it! It will be an adventure! It will be a story to tell your kids when you are older ;)
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8. If possible, research ahead and see if there are any expats groups in the area. You will find here that Facebook is your great friend. You will start google-ing places where expats meet and your ear will stay tuned into searching your home-language. Everything that will remind you of home will pop-up in front of your eyes & you will feel the need to hear your own language. Working in a corporation will help, as you will have more expats working there. 
Get NEW Experiences! Go to the museum / expo or just pick a random sports show ;)
9. Take all your paperwork with you - ID, passport, driving license, marriage license, study papers. If possible, translate them in the mother tongue of the place you will be living in. You never know when it may come in handy & for sure some of them you will need for registering yourself in the adoptive homeland. Not to mention that the tax office will always be very picky, so have both ID and passport with you, if ever you choose to move to Poland.
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10. Home will always be there. If you feel that you really don't fit in a place, move on. If after several tries you still can't get the feeling you arrived home, than come back to the motherland. I am sure the family and friends will welcome you with open arms. There is no shame in that! Think of all the information/knowledge you have gathered in the meanwhile: you are wiser now! Also, if you wish to remain in the country you have moved to, be not afraid. You will come back home to visit - probably your whole holidays will be spent going home ;)
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Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was. — Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

Such is the nature of an expatriate life. Stripped of romance, perhaps that’s what being an expat is all about: a sense of not wholly belonging. […] The insider-outsider dichotomy gives life a degree of tension. Not of a needling, negative variety but rather a keep-on-your-toes sort of tension that can plunge or peak with sudden rushes of love or anger. Learning to recognise and interpret cultural behaviour is a vital step forward for expats anywhere, but it doesn’t mean that you grow to appreciate all the differences. Sarah Turnbull 

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug