After two years of living abroad, there are a few tips for expat living that have come up frequently that make life and settling down in a foreign place a little easier.
Things will go wrong, you won’t understand what’s happening around you and will get frustrated, but if you’re patient everything ends up working itself out.
Chances are there are plenty of expats who have been in your position before with the same questions, problems or frustrations. There are a ton of Facebook Groups made up of expats living in Chiang Mai where people post everything from questions and concerns, to new apartments and special event information. If you ask for help, you’ll probably get it and save yourself some headache for trying to figure things out on your own.
I’m still shocked about the number of people who live here who can barely even order food. It’s embarrassing. Even if you don’t have to use the native language to get by, still try. You’re choosing to live in the country, and a country’s language and culture are completely intertwined. Knowing how to speak and read the language around will open up your world and understanding of the place.
It’s important to keep in touch with people and happenings back at home, but if you spend too much time trying to stay connected you’ll miss out on your current life.
It sounds obvious, but isn’t always simple to do. However, the sooner you’re able to make connections and build relationships with those in your new community the better. Having someone to turn to who knows the area better than you is invaluable.
These tips are from an interview I did for Expats Blog, read more here.
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Hey! I'm Alana and I've spent nearly the past decade living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working as a writer and photographer. I started Paper Planes as a place to share local insight, special places, and how to travel well through a range of experiences — from hostels to high-end hotels, street meat to multi-course meals.
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