Living as an expatriate (expat) means giving up your homeland, your culture, possibly your language, and settling abroad in a foreign land. If this sounds exciting to you, you are not alone. Approximately 9 million citizens of the United States live abroad, about 2.8 million Canadians live abroad, and 17.1 million citizens of the European Union live in a foreign country. With so many people choosing to leave the homeland behind, there must be good reasons to become an expat.
The Positive Side of Expat Living
Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Experience a new culture or cuisine? The expat life allows you to do just that, but slowly and over time. You can take advantage of your new home to travel to places that may have been out of reach before. You can get off the tourist trails and see the quieter, more secluded parts of the country. Chances are you’ll make new friends and broaden your horizons in ways you never knew were possible.
Which countries are great for expat living? The rankings change from time to time, but the top five tend to be Costa Rica, Malta, Mexico, and the Philippines. The beautiful weather and low costs of living are two of the reasons these countries rise to the top. These countries also have professional, experienced realtors who can help you purchase a home. For example, try zizla.com/ for expert help with Mexican real estate.
The Challenges of Expat Living
Living abroad may be a huge adjustment for you. It can be lonely at first, especially if you don’t speak the language yet. There will also be some degree of culture shock as you get used to new cultures and new routines. If you settle in a community that has a lot of expats, you will be faced with always saying goodbye to friends who are moving on to new opportunities or moving back home.
None of the challenges are insurmountable, however. Commit to learning the language, embracing the culture, and getting out of your shell. Be patient with yourself and allows yourself time to make the adjustments you need to make. Soon you will find that you have a place in your new home.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Take the plunge. You may find you are braver than you think you are. Enjoy the personal growth that comes from leaving your comfort zone and embracing the new.