So you’ve moved half way around the world (or maybe just to the neighbouring country). The essentials are unpacked (and face it, those last five boxes will sit unopened for the next six months at least), you’ve got through most of the overwhelming amount of paperwork that any new adventure brings and you’re ready to really jump into this expat life thing.
What’s the first thing you should do?
Walk out your front door, turn one way or the other (you can take the other option tomorrow) and just walk.
There is no better way to get to know your new neighbourhood, your new city, your new country, than by walking.
Walking through our neighbourhood, I discovered a hidden small park to have picnics and play badminton in. I found a farm that sells it’s own meat twice a month. I found a shop that sells Danish home products and magazines (oh happy day!) and an English book shop. I walked into a wine store with the most down-to-earth-not-at-all-poncy sommelier who introduced us to Argentinian and Luxembourg wines in the same afternoon.
I discovered blackberries growing wild on a derelict plot between modern apartment blocks and a cemetery that may be the most peaceful place to do some thinking about the big things in life in this city. I got to recognise the ladies who work in the garage across the road and I started nodding recognition to the man in the flat cap who waits for the 7:43 bus each morning.
Then there’s the Indian restaurant we fell in love with and the smoky bar next door that we vowed never to return to. I found the church whose bells we can hear peeling each Sunday morning when we wake up, and I realised it takes less than twenty minutes to get into the centre, and only fifteen to be in the fields.
All from walking. Imagine what you might find…
This post is part of my 31 days to embrace expat life. You can find all my posts here…