Embrace Expat Life

Fiona Lynne - 31 Days to Embrace Expat Life

In October 2012 I wrote every day on the challenge of embracing expat* life fully and wholeheartedly. I’ve lived in four different foreign-to-me countries now, as a volunteer, a student and an employee, and this was the series to pull together a lot of what I’ve learnt in that time.

I love so much about expat life but it’s not without it’s hardships either. If you’re already and expat, or about to become one, I hope you will find something here to help you on the journey.

*”Expat” is the catch-all term I use but I’ve always been on local contracts and often with an undefined end point. So if you think of yourself as an immigrant or foreigner or traveller or nomad, you might find something for you here too.

Week One:
Day 1 – Why 31 days to embrace expat life?
Day 2 – Walk.
Day 3 – Start talking.
Day 4 – Avoiding comparisons.
Day 5 – Embrace a simpler lifestyle.
Day 6 – Who do you think you are?
Day 7 – Eat local.

Week Two:
Day 8 – On loneliness.
Day 9 – Expat communities.
Day 10 – Being family to your friends.
Day 11 – It’s hard to say goodbye.
Day 12 – Combating the “missing out” feeling.
Day 13 – Embracing expat life with your spouse.
Day 14 – Discover local culture (the Vianden nut festival)

Week Three:
Day 15 – Smile!
Day 16 – Shit Expats say.
Day 17 – Daily life.
Day 18 – Embrace hospitality.
Day 19 – Read the paper.
Day 20 – Ask for help vs. Figure it out.
Day 21 – Volunteer.

Week Four:
Day 22 – on Baggage.
Day 23 – Say Yes!
Day 24 – Going home.
—–Ellie’s story – Jo’burg to Newcastle
—–Naomi’s story – Singapore to London
—–Sarah’s story – Brussels to Los Angeles
Day 25 – Foreign, a poem
Day 26 – On Culture Shock
Day 27 – Expat children
Day 28 – Saying hello.

Week Five:
Day 29 – On patience.
Day 30 – Finding love as an expat.
Day 31 – Live as if you’ll be here forever.