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Tips to Becomeing a Happy Expatriate

Updated on June 12, 2012

Expatriates by definition can be people who relocate to various countries around the world for either work or self reasons. A lot of expats work for foreign companies and the companies like them due to the low salary constraints that are in place in that country. Some expats face many challenging difficulties and are not always happy in the spot they choose so they relocate many times to find their home. Expats should be flexible in their attitude in their new atmosphere and sensitive to the culture they are moving to. Hence, Expats face many challenges and discomforts to become adapted to their new life. As an expat myself I thought it would be insightful to share some of my experiences and insights to others. This may allow your expat experience to become a little more manageable.

1. The first thing about becoming an expat is deciding where you want to live. There are many countries and opportunities and locating one for you can be a challenge. So first thing to do as an expat is to visit a new place to get the feel for the surroundings and culture. This will allow you the opportunity to visit many locations try out the local foods, culture, and people. Of course this also brings in many issues as well. But, taking is one step at a time will allow you to enjoy every moment. You will come to see the world in a new light and open ideas to yourself that you never thought possible.

2. One key to being a happy expat in a new culture is to spend some extra time admiring things around you instead of complaining and finding faults. Try to maintain an open mind and welcome people as they come.  Don’t judge then and do not try to change other people to your attitude but except them for there’s. This is one main key to being a happy expat.

3. every time you walk out the front door of your home life is there waiting to offer you a new adventure and beginning. Everything you do makes a difference and every moment will provide you new lessons in life.


4. Expatriate life consists of change, change that comes one right after another. So your mindset as a expat needs to be accepting of things as they are. Sometime series of changes can been seen in advance but most will be at a time unknown until it happens. So as you travel and the atmospheres around you change be mindful of things you say and do. But, always be ready to keep an open mind and welcome the new changes. It will help keep you more open minded to life as an expat in any country.

5. Inevitable life as an expat will never full of sunshine and a happy expat will face some bad experiences in their travels. Sadness, homesickness, and doubts are part of the expat life. You learn many things from the bad experiences as well. It is natural to have these feeling and not a queue for you to pack up and head home. It is a natural part of the expat life and we have to learn to roll with the punches if we are to become who we want to be.

6. As we all know we cannot have fun if we are going through a stressful time. Expatriates may in the critical situation of facing this all alone as they cannot share this with either their family or friends. But one way to overcome this time of loneliness stress is to speak with other expatriates as yourself. There are many online forums as well as chartrooms full of people experiencing the same things. Remember your decision to live life as an expat is yours. But there are others who have gone before you and know the trials and tribulations. Reaching out to those like minded can only benefit you in the long run.

It is always easier to complain and find faults in others except in yourself. You can just as easily say that you are passing a horrible time at your place of work or family business or where you live. These types of self defeating attitudes do not belong in the expat. So don’t dwell on the obvious differences embrace them and in the end you will be more successful and happy in your new expatriate life.


Submit a Comment
  • vaguesan profile image


    8 years ago from Osaka, Japan

    I am an ex-pat myself.

    Your advice is right on. I believe it's really important to make friends with the locals. Don't just spend all your time at the local ex-pat bar.


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