reflection

Living abroad was a big step in my life. Sometimes, when one is trying to fit in to a society, one will lose themselves in the process. While I am a believer of being true to my own identity, I also know that it is equally important that I try to fit into a new culture so that I can survive and enjoy my time living there.

Here are three pointers that has helped me to adapt to a new city, country and culture.

Open-Mindedness

The most important thing is to stay open-minded. There is no doubt that wherever we go, there will be culture shock; and like it or not, it will affect us. In order to adapt to our new surroundings, we must learn to adjust our attitude and deal with the situation as best as we could. Be open to new ideas and to be free of judgement.

Learn from One Another

Living abroad is a good opportunity to learn from the locals in the area. If you are ready to live in another culture, you need to be an extrovert and to put yourself out there. People love to hear other people’s stories, where they come from and to learn something new from you. Remember, you are like an ambassador of your country, so show people how amazing your country really is and be an example of it.

Adapt to New Norms

When you arrive to a new place, there are new norms and etiquettes that you are not used to. I remember when I first arrived to Colorado, USA, I didn’t know how to socialize very well. When the cashier in the bank or grocery store asked me how I was doing, I answered with a long story of how my day was. It was only after some time that I learned that it was a greeting to say hi. Be aware of different norms and social etiquettes that may be new to you and learn to behave in a similar manner.

Life is an amazing journey, especially for those who love traveling and are willing to go the extra mile to enjoy a new way of life in a different culture. Remember to enjoy the ride!

 

This was a guest post by Mary Siddall, a life coach in Colorado who moved from Peru to the United States in 2001. Her business was her way of supporting people from all walks of life and to help them find their TrueSelf. Follow her journey through Facebook and check out her blog at Balance My True Self.

Written by Charmaine | The Canadian Wanderer
Charmaine Yip is a Canadian who has lived abroad since 2012. She is currently working in the education industry in Hong Kong. Prior to that, she has lived in Canada, Singapore and France.