LIVING ABROAD – COPING WITH LIFE OUTSIDE THE COMFORT ZONE
One of the biggest obstacles which so often defeats us when we think of a new life in a different country is the prospect of being well outside our comfort zone.
At home, we walk familiar streets, speak the same language as everyone else and even know the right aisle in the supermarket to find the things we need.
Overseas, we can no longer take any of that for granted and, although it may be fun for a week or two on holiday, the thought of it being part of daily life is a little bit scary.
Many of us will spend an evening in our favourite armchair browsing holiday homes for sale in Portugal or doing online searches for the best estate agents in Turkey – but that’s often as far as we get.
But, if we were to speak to those who have made the jump already, something most will probably tell us is that not only does it get easier but, once the decision to leave everyday life behind is made, it’s also rewarding and exciting.
There are techniques though which can make adapting to life overseas at little bit easier and we’ve outlined a few below:
Join the club: There is a certain amount of pride to be had from doing things on your own but it’s easier when you have friends around you. Join the clubs and go to the places where you’re likely to meet others dealing with the same things you’ll have to every day. Once you’ve found your feet you can go your own way if you wish but there’s often a mine of information available from other expats.
Ask for help: There’s no shame in using the experience of those who have gone before you to your advantage. There will be plenty of people out there ready to give advice – sometimes whether you like it or not. The difficulty can sometimes be sifting the good from the bad. Equally, there may be people who are happy to escort while you deal with the inevitable bureaucracy as you settle in your new home. If they offer, don’t feel you ought to decline.
Set goals: Lists are certainly your friend when it comes to the moving process but it helps to give yourself some personal objectives too. For example, just trying your best to speak to a shopkeeper in their language, catching a bus or trying a new place for lunch can broaden your experience. If you manage to tick one off your list every week, make sure you reward yourself.
Team up: If you have moved overseas with a partner, doing things together will certainly help you find your feet but there comes a time when you will be on your own. Try not to showboat or get involved in one-upmanship. Encourage each other and celebrate your successes together so each of you develops a sense of achievement.
Equally, if you can find another individual, couple or family in the same boat, it can be fun to work through your first few months together. Not only are you sharing experiences, you could be making friends for life.
Never stop learning: There will come a time when you realise you can now do the basics without fuss – but don’t stop there. Set new challenges to stretch yourself further and step out of that comfort zone once again. You’ve already done it once so doing it again should be a little less daunting and a little more exciting.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a few pointers but if you’re thinking of moving to Turkey or hoping to find a holiday villa in Portugal, don’t forget we’re here to help you find the place of your dreams. you can also enjoy our facebook pages here and here.
You may be able to find what you’re looking for on other pages of our website where you can read advice on how to obtain a Golden Visa in Portugal, a Golden Visa in Spain, how to qualify for citizenship in Turkey or to obtain a Golden Visa in Greece. Also, if you enjoyed this post and think others might find it useful, please feel free to pass it on.