Actually, you long term expats may find some gems here too. In the May Expat Round-up I focused on ways to enjoy living overseas and I promised that this month I would round-up posts about the more frustrating aspects of living overseas. But I’ve changed my mind! I have come across such a great selection of posts and blogs for new expats that I thought I would do a piece on these instead. After all, we are nearing the time of year when a lot of expats start shifting around and reading about how other people cope with the experience is one of the best ways to make it as smooth as possible.
Several years ago after doing my psychology degree as a mature student I realised the Theory of Self-Actualisation by Abraham Maslow worked perfectly as a model for explaining the adjustment process of a new expat. So I adapted the concept of the Hierarchy of Needs to fit the life of a new expat and created a Useful tool for new expats. I think one thing that makes it so useful is not just that you can clearly see what steps in the process you will need to move through before you start to feel settled, but you can also use it as a guide in case you suffer culture shock setbacks, such as when you return to your host country after visiting home. It just makes the whole process of adjustment so much easier to cope with. I hope you find it useful as well.
You are probably well aware that there are millions of expats across the globe, but you may not know many or any of them. Hurrah for blogs then! One expat, VegemiteVix has cleverly created a series on her blog called Moving Stories (I hope it’s a permanent series), a collection of stories from expats around the world looking at the difference between the expat dream and the reality. A great post to start with is Vix’s very own Homesickness, summing up the feelings perfectly. Be sure to also check out her Must Read Posts.
New awesome website alert! Mums Away UK is an excellent resource for new expats (and expat parents already here). Currently focusing mostly on the London and home counties area (although with a lot of great general info, as well), this blog is still growing–expect great things here, and very useful things. I have yet to find a site as helpful as this for settling in (oh, if only I had something like this back in my early expat days!). From the founders, Rachel and Ginny: In relocating to the UK we were both faced with the same challenges. While our husbands were consumed with work, we were consumed with finding ways to entertain our children, set up house and maintain our sanity. It wasn’t easy, and because the parenting information we found was written for British people, it assumed certain knowledge about living in the UK. We helped each other a lot in those first few months, despite being the blind leading the blind!
British expat Emma Raphael recently wrote a fantastic post for BritMums on Moving Abroad, filled with tips and personal insights to the process. And check out her current blog, A Bavarian Sojourn. I especially liked this recent post where she writes about the Jubilee in A little bit of England… because part of becoming an expat is figuring out how one is supposed to celebrate national holidays and events when not in your home nation. Emma seems to be an expert at this!
Enjoy awesome, sparky writing? I’ve got just the blog for you. Not a new expat but a new blog, Detroit to Devon; Mom becomes Mum and here’s her intro post that describes her first impressions of becoming a new expat, the wonderfully ambiguously titled Something New Every Day. New expat life very well described! This round-up is late today because I spent so long reading through her blog–I love her writing.
And finally, thinking about becoming self-employed when you move? With the internet there’s a long list of potential career options for the expat but working in another country may also expose you to a very different set of experiences than you may expect. A Mother in France, a British expat in France, wrote an excellent post titled So you think you want to be self-employed in France! which is well worth a read, even for people living in other countries.
And now over to you readers. After you check out these blogs if you have any tips for new expats leave a comment below or if you have a post that you think fits in with this round-up, please link up!
Finally, in two weeks many of us will be at BritMums Live! 22-23 June, the UK’s largest parent blog conference and on the Friday evening I’m organising an expat dinner at a restaurant a short walking distance from the venue. I need names so I can make the final booking and give the restaurant numbers of people, but please don’t feel you have to know everyone in order to come–this is a perfect place to meet other expats or socialise face to face with the one’s you’ve met online. I have a lonnnnng lost of expats I am hoping will be there!
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.