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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all expats, so glad to be joining this community!
Living in different countries and cultures is what makes my heart beat and I am getting very excited as I prepare for my next big move. I'm not new to relocating and living abroad but I'm approaching it on a new and less certain path and I'm looking to hear some uplifting stories or words of encouragement, if you have them to spare.
As I research and read through forums like ours, I begin to feel bogged down by the number of negative stories and hardships I come across. I'm fully aware that starting a new life in a completely different culture is no walk in the park and has immense difficulties but I would love to hear some stories of triumph or just to hear what choosing this life has meant to you. :)
I've spent many years of mylife trying to "make it work" here in the USA but have really only felt in place when traveling or living abroad. So many people in my life can't even begin to comprehend that idea and chalk it up to the vacation mentality. And how do you explain to someone that you thrive off of being challenged and uncomfortable in a totally different society? You can't, and so you just go do it..on your own! It would be wonderful to hear any of your stories or if you can relate to that in anyway.
Thanks for your time!
SandraLi:D
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum. I admit to having told my share of "negative" stories to expat wannabees, especially where the folks have a somewhat glorified view of what it means to live somewhere else. I think the most important part of the whole adventure is that you have (or you very soon develop) a confidence in yourself to somehow deal with whatever new, scary or just bizarre experiences get thrown at you.

In that context, I've always advised people that you need to be running "to" something rather than "away from" something. Sure, you can hate the place you're currently living - but you'll soon hate the place you're going to be living in if you don't have some positive motivation for moving there: the language, the culture, a job, family, friends (including romantic interests). You need a positive reason for choosing that particular country (or city or region) so that you'll have a reason to stay when things get a little bit rough (as they will at some point). You can overcome just about anything, provided you're willing to adapt and accommodate and for that you need a reason.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I must admit that I am a bit addicted to the thrill of a new challenge, new location and new adventure. It really doesn't matter where. Sure, some negative things happen but how you handle them is what makes the situation. Those that become overwhelmed...well, perhaps the expat life is not for you. I firmly believe that there are many positives in every location and what you choose to dwell on is pretty indicative of a personality.

Most who haven't done it don't understand it. And some who have done it don't like it and most don't thrive on it. I find it a total thrill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"I think the most important part of the whole adventure is that you have (or you very soon develop) a confidence in yourself to somehow deal with whatever new, scary or just bizarre experiences get thrown at you."

Thank you for your reply Bev. It's very true what you said, that you need to have a reason to go where ever it is you go to. I feel driven in a good direction but it is the first time I'll relocate completely in my own and as a young, single woman it can be intimidating. The thrill and fulfilling feeling it gives me is more than enough to outweigh it but I did feel the need to hear for others out there that the choice and sacrifice they made was worth it in the end. Thanks again for the words of advice!
Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I must admit that I am a bit addicted to the thrill of a new challenge, new location and new adventure. It really doesn't matter where. Sure, some negative things happen but how you handle them is what makes the situation. Those that become overwhelmed...well, perhaps the expat life is not for you. I firmly believe that there are many positives in every location and what you choose to dwell on is pretty indicative of a personality.

Most who haven't done it don't understand it. And some who have done it don't like it and most don't thrive on it. I find it a total thrill.
I agree. The thrill of moving and being engulfed in a culture you don't know or understand is what drives my every step. I love the challenge and growth you find as you integrate and become a part of their way of living.
It's true that if someone hasn't been there or done that its hard for them to relate. It seems a lot of american people, well traveled or not, can't fathom the idea of someone wanting to live life any other way than the white picket fence American dream. That's why I joined this forum, to have some insight and input from people who understand the way I think.
 
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