What’s great about being an expat?

Last week I wrote a post about expats complaints. Today, I want to focus on the things that makes being an expats great. After all, moving to another country is not that bad. So, looking at my almost 6 years of living in Belgium I came up with a list of things that I believe makes being an expat purely uplifting or at least worthwhile.

  • Immersion in a new culture. This one here is priceless. I think there’s no other way one can experience and learn about a new culture, other than living in it. You can read and discuss about it all you want, but living in a new culture gives a precious insight.
  • Possibility to reinvent yourself!! Enough said!!
  • Getting to know new people (and many times different) Depending on the type of person you are, this will make you happy or stress you. There is the type of person who get energized by people and there are the ones who love being a hermit. Either way, I think this also teaches you more about the world we live in.
  • Make new friends. I enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. It’s funny when I see that whether you want it or not, the same rules don’t apply. These new people will not react as your old friends and so, you have to adapt the way you manage your new relationships.

    Seen Paris so many times, I don't even take my camera with me anymore. Source: Emily Williams

    Seen Paris so many times, I don’t even take my camera with me anymore. Source: Emily Williams

  • Travelling. Being in a different side of the globe will immediately expose you to new territories. So, you can travel to a new set of countries. And who doesn’t like travelling?! (I know, such people exist, but they are not a majority 🙂
  • New type of cuisine (also veggies, fruits, etc.) If you love food, you’re going to enjoy this one a lot. For example  I grew up in a part of Romania where seafood is not very present, nor popular. So, now I have a new found flavor pallet to explore.
  • Learn about humanity. People react differently to certain situations due to their upbringing, culture, type of person and traditions. Living in new places will expose you to how people are built and learn that although biologically we are the same, the way we turn out as adults is very much determined by our surroundings.
  • New adventures. It is quite rare that you are not faced with new adventures. Be it paperwork, people’s attitudes, surviving incidents, etc.
  • Learn about yourself. It so happens that if out in a new situation, place and circumstance, you wouldn’t be able to discover parts about yourself. Before moving to Belgium I had no idea how much stress I can take, that it can take me months to learn how to drive, but a second to actually decide to drive when pressured. Discovered that I’m good when someone’s in a crisis, but barely able to deal with mine 🙂
  • Learn new skills. From cooking, swimming or skying and anything else that you were not exposed at home. 

Probably the list can go on, but this is my summary! I think the most important thing is that you stay open minded and enjoy what you can, as much as you can. So, what makes it great for you being an expat?

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