Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

What to expect when becoming an ex-pat

Written by Fiona

April 22 2021

Becoming an expat is something a lot of travel lovers are keen to do. The excitement comes from moving to a new and interesting place, making new friends, learning a new language, finding working and new social opportunities. All in all, it can be a lot of fun.

However, when it comes to knowing what to expect, a lot of people don’t always take a colossal move like this into account. There’s a lot you’ll have to become accustomed to, when you make a home in a country you don’t know, and it’s key to temper your expectations in the meantime. And this post is here to help with that.

A world away from what you know

Sometimes there’s a real culture shock when you move from one country to another, especially if the country in question is in a totally different part of the world. After all, every single nation out there has their own identity and once you’ve got your bags packed and your immigration lawyer all sorted, it’s time to get to grips with the culture you’re fitting into. 

So, you’re going to have to be both open minded and patient with yourself. You’re going to have to quickly warm up to your new surroundings, but give yourself a break, too.

You’ll have to go with the flow

You’ll also need to ensure you’re capable of making snap decisions, at a moment’s notice, because being an expat often means you can’t have a five or 10-year plan in place. Trying to prepare for something in the longterm is something you can do from a place of comfort, and willingness to change, but as an expat, there will be so much variety around you.

As a result, it might be next to impossible to think ahead, and you’ll really have to go with the flow. Don’t be afraid to say yes, don’t worry about where you’re going next, and try to have fun as you move through your travels. 

The distance is more than physical

And finally, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re ready to weather the storm of potentially losing your close relationships. Even though you can use Facebook or a people finder service to get back in touch there’s still the chance for relationships to fade. That’s because when you’re far away from someone, physically, you’re going to be far away from them mentally as well – and that means you’re going to miss out on a lot of inside news and life updates. 

And that’s a fact that a lot of people, willing to move abroad and chase their travel dreams, forget about. After all, you’ve got a phone and a wifi connection, why wouldn’t you be able to stay in touch? Well, time zones, different responsibilities and being a world away from what you and your loved ones are used to. 

Becoming an expat is all about taking life by the horns. Make sure you’re ready for what that means on your travels. 

More Like This


Best Fall Camping: Top 5 Places to Camp


Adventure holidays: Embrace the thrill of exploration


Exploring the great outdoors: Top day trips in the UK


New Zealand road trip tips


The best countries for watersports


My motor: 5 ways to personalise your car and make it unique