I went to CybHer blogging conference in London yesterday and met a really lovely blogger who told me she has two friends who are expats in Britain—one loves her life here and is full of the spirit of adventure while the other is struggling, picking holes in her host culture and not at all enjoying her life overseas. It makes me sad to hear this. I know there can be a hundred and one reasons someone isn’t enjoying their life—no matter where they live, abroad or in their homeland, but it seems such a shame to have the opportunity to live overseas and not take advantage of that time by looking for all the good things and making the most of it.
The expat book I am working on is for people who are struggling to enjoy their life overseas. I’m writing it because I know there are a lot of people like this and I know that whether you’re overseas for a year or a lifetime, you’ll have a much better experience if you can find strategies for enjoying it.
One thing that helps me a lot when I’m feeling a bit down about living overseas is reading other people’s enthusiastic, passionate blogs about their life overseas. I also like to share the positives I have found about my life overseas (sharing helps me focus more on the positives!).
I recently wrote a post about my house—it’s locally well known for two reasons, and it’s one of the things I think is fun about my life overseas. I haven’t always loved where I’ve lived in Britain, and there are things I don’t like about my current house but I have found some aspects that I can focus on to make my home a much more entertaining place to live in.
In my expat round-up I much prefer to focus on specific posts but in this round-up I’m going to make an exception. Fergus Miller is a new discovery of mine and reading his About Me page alone is enough to feel the energy of this expat. This New Zealander has lived in Britain and now Switzerland and loves living overseas, loves taking advantage of his location to travel from his home.
One of the fun things about living in another country is discovering the things they have that your home country doesn’t have, even if they’re kind of scary/odd (let’s hope these are never needed). Check out the unusual extra rooms in Swiss houses at Three Years and One Stone then Home.
Another blogger who has a passion for her host country is Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal. She has discovered the best hot weather food in the world (in my opinion, and very likely hers) and I can almost guarantee that she won’t find anything like this in her home country!
Now I’m back to recommending a whole blog. This time it’s because it’s a brand new blog! A Vicar’s Wife is written by an American married to a vicar—no she will not make you tea and scones, but yes, he will entertain you with her funny, honest writing. Go check her out and welcome her to the expat blogging community!
One of the best ways to love living where you do is to find something beautiful about it—whether it’s the little flowers that take root in the cracks in the pavement or the majesty of a wild coastline. Take photos of it, paint or draw it, or simply write about it. And if you have a blog, share it with the world as Crumpets in Camelot has done in one of her recent posts, celebrating the beautiful coastline in Cornwall.
How do you find ways to love living in your host country? Consider this a post prompt! Write a post on it and come back and add it to the linky below—or, if you’ve already written on it (no matter how long ago) leave a link below.
Oh, and before I go, if there are any expats reading this who are attending the BritMums Live! Conference 22-23 June, there will be an expat dinner on Friday 22nd June, after the Brilliance in Blogging awards party and ceremony, at about 8.30 pm. If you’re interested in going, just contact me and I’ll add your name to the list! My twitter handle is @Michelloui and my email is theamericanresident (at) yahoo (dot) com.
Next month I’ll look at the more frustrating aspects of living overseas.