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To live in a different country is a rich and rewarding experience, but moving abroad can (at first) definitely feel disruptive; it changes your daily life, throws you into the unknown, and you may have given up all of your creature comforts from home.

It’s very common for some people to find their first months abroad a bit sad, and a bit nostalgic, but when you feel that way, it’s the perfect moment to tackle new challenges.

We’re jumping in with a list of 5 things you shouldn’t be afraid to try when living away from your home country.

5 Things Expats Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Do

Meet New People

A visit to Dongguan Great Mosque Xining offers a fascinating insight into Chinese Muslim culture.

We know that you miss your close friends you left back home, but you can call them as often as you’d like. So, why say no to meeting new people?

You can spend time both with expats, who share the same experiences as you and understand you, or with locals, who can help you adapt faster to the peculiarities of the new country. It might seem difficult at first to build up a new social network, however it will help you feel better and more at home.

A great way to get in touch with new people is by participating in an organized sport or hobby. If you’re not a natural at meeting people, read this article on how to make friends where-ever you go.

By meeting new people you may also find it easier and quicker to learn and become fluent in the local language. Having real world conversations on a continued basis is usually the best way to achieve fluency.

Celebrate New Holidays

Sri Lankan Festival India RF

Being an expat is an enriching experience, and being in a new country is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and celebrate new holidays!

One of the best ways to achieve an authentic and immersive experience is by diving straight into local festivals and events. Whether it’s participating in camel races, flamboyant street parades, or monumental food fights, ‘there is no better way to understand a country than an event where it proudly celebrates its individuality’.

But never forget your own traditions. Just because you’re not at home doesn’t mean you have to give up the traditions you love, and it can often be a great bonding experience to share your own traditions with your new friends.

For instance, you’ll likely find Australians out in full force waving their national flags and hitting up pubs throughout the world on January 26. Just because they’re not in Australia doesn’t mean that don’t wish to share their love of country with the locals of the city they’re in!

Host a traditional dinner and tell your friends more about how you celebrate these special days at home.

Stay in Touch with Family and Friends

It is quite natural to miss your friends and family and you will even miss talking in your own language at a certain point. So, take time to call them regularly or send them small presents whenever you can, such as international top ups. comes in handy if you want to send airtime to your family and friends back home. They can use the credit to call you abroad, send you text messages or even to activate Data options.

A slower, but perhaps even more special, way to stay in touch is also via sending postcards (here are 6 reasons you should still be sending them!)

Everyone loves receiving postcards, but as social media swept in we lost the motivation to buy them, write them, and track down a local post office. So if you do send postcards home they’ll know that you put a lot of effort in!

Stop Complaining!!

It’s too hot, too cold, too expensive, too religious, too confusing.

Keep it up and that’s all you will see.

Concentrate on the good things, repeat those, talk about those. You’ll discover even more when you have an open mind and a positive mindset.

Excitement vs Fear of the Unknown


When you start an expat adventure in a new country, there’s always a healthy balance between your excitement for the new adventure that lies ahead and your fear of the unknown (will it be safe, will I be able to make friends, will I be able to find my favorite brand of cheese?).

You could be really scared to start all over again, but if you want to make it an adventure, you definitely need a healthy dose of curiosity, optimism, resourcefulness and some humour to laugh at yourself and your mistakes along the way.

Remember, it’s the journey that matters, not the destination, and whether you have an enriching, exciting experience, or a downright miserable one can often come down to your attitude and mindset.


Olympia 33 inch Rolling Duffel

Nautica 28 inch Hardside Spinner

Samsonite Winfield HS Spinner

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. Amen to it all Meg! Digital nomads but sticking around most spots for 1 or 2 months – sometimes longer – we feel like expats on the move. Do not be like that cantankerous curmudgeons on the Thai visa form LOL. No complaining! Be grateful, meet new folks and explore. Expat life can pose challenges but is beyond magical.

    • I like that term Ryan, Expats on the move :) Absolutely, it’s all about embracing the experience, and when you go in with an open mind, excited to make the most of everything, you’ll end up with incredible memories :)

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