(My) Expat Guide to a Happy Transition (beta v 1.2)
Part three of 10 ( + 2) bits of advice on how to survive the transition to life abroad without losing your will to live.
No, it isn’t just you. Everything easy just got complicated. All the rules have changed and no one thought to tell you. Now you, the accomplished adult who can do everything themselves, is doing everything, even the simplest little things, wrong. And worse than that…
3. Everything takes five times longer to accomplish.
It is humbling in the extreme to find that “normally straightforward” stuff like going to the bank to open an account is now an all day practice, but keep in mind that this isn’t your home turf and this is unfamiliar territory. At home going to the bank is easy, but here you first have to find it, get there and then find the right line to stand in, be sure you have the right documents… this all adds up.
Space your tasks out over a few days to both ensure that you get what you need to done, and that you do it right and don’t kill yourself in the process. It won’t always take so long, but at the beginning you’ll need to pad extra hours onto even what are normally simple tasks.
Breathe. Be patient with yourself. It’s normal.
(And this is good practice for the big task of finding a J O B… more on that next.)