5 Tips for Expat Living


  1. I think making local connections is the most important one of the bunch – also sometimes the hardest. Good tips!

  2. Being an expat myself (in Thailand as well), I can relate to exactly what you’re talking about! These are fantastic tips for someone just getting started with their new life, and I even know a few long terms who could learn a thing or two from this! nice one Alana!

  3. Heather says:

    Asking for help is so important. Even for things as simple as where to shop for towels or what phone plan to use. Reaching out to others who have been in your shoes and have figured things out can save you from frustrating searches. Plus, you can make a new friend in the process!

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Exactly, sometimes it’s fun and rewarding to figure things out on your own…other times you should save yourself the hassle – especially for the menial things like towels, etc.

  4. I would say all of these except maybe #4 are solid principles to follow even as a traveler, not just an expat! I think travelers who embrace these ideas wind up having a better experience in which they forge a deeper understanding of wherever they are visiting than those that stay in their little bubbles and never try to break free! I am crazy independent and i am always reminding myself of how much easier I can make things for myself if I just stop and ask someone for help! who would have thought that locals would know more than someone who has only been in the country for less than 24 hours… 😉

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Thanks for reading 🙂
      Everyone says how you should try and learn a bit of a language and try and meet locals when you travel…but I really don’t understand how you’re supposed to do that unless you’re spending a lot of time in one place. It’s easy to step outside a resort area or not do a package tour, but beyond that it can be very difficult to get out of the traveler/foreigner bubble 9even if you’re trying)!

  5. Ash Clark says:

    great words of wisdom here Alana. I think the last one is great. Becomnig good friends with people like Arnon at restr8o’s in chiang mai made the experience of living there much easier…

  6. Agness says:

    I guess learning the language is crucial. People seem to be so lazy nowadays, especially Westerns. Your life can be much easier if you know some basic words when living abroad.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      There are many places you can go where you can get by with English, but, for me, I don’t understand why you would live somewhere else if you weren’t wanting to try and speak the same.

  7. marissa says:

    My biggest pet peeve while living abroad was definitely other expats not learning the language, then getting miffed that they didn’t understand what people were saying or got lost all the time. I just wanted to shake them and say, “You are not in America. Get it together and learn some survival phrases, at least!”

    Seriously though, learning even basic phrases will lift your experience to a whole new level.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      I understand it’s difficult to learn and easy to make excuses not to…but what’s the point of living in another country if you’re not going to try and learn about it/adapt?

  8. Emily says:

    These are all awesome tips. Limiting ties with home is such a good one to remember. Even when living abroad, I can stumble into times where I am checking Facebook too much and wishing I were back living a “normal life.”

  9. Great post! I definitely agree with all of these, especially learning the language. I live in China and I can’t tell you how many people I meet that speak almost no Chinese and have lived here for years! We expect everyone to know English in the USA, even tourists! A little goes a long way. Even if you’e just traveling for a week or so, if you know just a few phrases (hello, thank you, goodbye), it’s amazing how people’s faces light up.

    Also I think limiting your time with home is a great point because most people never talk about that. If you spend all your time on your computer or skyping your friends or boyfriend back home, you can’t really live in the present and enjoy your experience abroad. You really have to make an effort to have a balance. Talk to your family, friends and significant other if you have one, but don’t base your life around it and don’t let it inhibit you from immersing yourself in the new culture.

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