5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Became An Expat
Posted by Stephen Whitfield
Life as an expat wherever you are in the world offers an array of opportunities, experiences and life lessons. At Medibroker, we make sure our clients have the right overseas healthcare plan to allow them to enjoy all these things as much as possible, and we've seen a
If you're planning on moving overseas and aren't sure what to expect, read on. Anna's words of warning aren't just limited to Bangkok, but apply to expats living across the globe!
I have lived in Bangkok for a little over 18 months now. The time has flown by so far, and there are days I cannot remember what it was like not to live here. I moved to Bangkok when I was 31. This was the first time I had spent more than three weeks in a foreign country, let alone actually living in one! I had no idea what to expect, but here are five things I wish I had known:
1. Pack sentimental things
As I mentioned above, my only experience of being in a foreign country was going on holiday. Therefore when I packed my two suitcases ready to start my new life in Bangkok, I automatically filled them with clothes. After all, that’s what goes in suitcases, right?! In hindsight, I wish I had filled them with personal treasures and
2. Social media is a great tool
Make social media your new friend. It can be hard starting a new life and moving to a country knowing no one. In the UK I had used
3. Most people hate the first 6 months
I hated Bangkok the first six months I lived here. I didn’t have many friends, I wasn’t working at the time, I didn’t know the language, and truth be told I found the constant hot weather to be suffocating. I felt bad for complaining - who was I to think I was poorly done by, living what many would perceive to be a life of leisure. The more people I got to know, the more I discovered I was not alone in feeling like this. Moving to a new country is hard work – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
4. Learning the language makes a huge difference
Again this may seem a little obvious but it’s true. I have found it extremely difficult learning how to speak Thai and therefore did not put much effort in beyond “hello”, “goodbye” and my numbers 1-10. I didn’t work for the first nine months that I lived in Thailand, but after I started working for a Thai company, I learnt more Thai in my first week than in nine months of living here. Being able to communicate has made a big difference to my life outside of work, too!
5. Don’t make assumptions based on your home country
Taxis in the UK were pretty expensive, so I presumed this would also be the case in Bangkok. I rarely took them in my first six months of living here, until one day I realised just how cheap they were! All that time I had been lugging around heavy bottles of water in the hot weather for nothing! From
Written by Anna from Bangkok Girl
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