What to expect when moving abroad

I have moved countries twice in my lifetime and each time it throws up new challenges. There’s a nervous excitement that you feel when you finally bite the bullet and decide it’s time for a change. For some it will be the biggest decision they ever make because they are leaving behind family and friends, leaving those closest to you behind is probably the most difficult part about moving away. The good news is that with flights being so cheap the world really has become a small place, if anything, it gives your family and friends a great excuse to have a holiday!

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Hong Kong and Thailand have both been my home since I left the UK in 2008. One thing that I have learned from moving countries is that somethings always remain the same when it comes to preparing for a different environment.

Culture

The first thing most expats talk about is the culture shock, this is especially true if you are moving to a different continent. Somethings that might seem normal back home will not be in your new location, the same goes for somethings that are seen as rude back home will be normal. It’s always a good idea to read up about your new country because the last thing any of us want to do is offend people. This becomes even more important if you will be working in a local office, offending the local staff on the the first day is not the way to go. If you can join some expat Facebook groups to ask for advice.

The weather

When I first moved to Asia the heat instantly hit me, my wardrobe was not fully prepared for the heat after living in the UK for so long! If I could do it again I would have bought clothes when I was back in the UK because in Asia it can be tricky to find clothes that fit your frame. After I moved here I looked online to see what groupon vouchers I could find and got a nice parcel of new clothes sent over to me.

The food

The food is different wherever you go and you should at leaf make some effort to try the local cuisine. The food in Thailand is some of the best in the world but be wary of how spicy it is! It may take a short time for your body to adjust to the new food but after a month or two you will be able to take anything that’s thrown at you. If you’re moving to a big city, regardless of the country, you will always find some food that is similar to home, the best place to find this is in shopping malls or hotels.