Are you an expat? Well then, you'll relate to these 11 things

Anna Allgaier

The life of an expat is full of discoveries, adventure, new friends, delicious food, stepping out of your comfort zone…the list goes on.

It’s also full of things that make you go “interesting".” And when I say “interesting” I mean it the British way, which basically translates to “oh dear.”

I've lived the expat lifestyle on a few occasions and learnt a lot about the country I’d moved to, and even more about myself. Not sure if the latter is a good thing.

So, my people of the world, let’s skip the small talk and take a look at things you only know if you’re living the expat life.

Bonus thing: You need to get
Wise with your money

1) News? Try pop culture instead

Just kidding, the news is very important. But you probably didn’t realise how important pop culture was before moving to your new country.

2) Just because the language is the same doesn’t mean you’ll know what’s going on

What you may not realise is that even if you speak the same language, (an Aussie moving to America, for instance) that doesn’t mean you’ll have a clue about what’s going on. There’s slang, there are cultural references, there are other things I can’t think of but I like writing in three so here we go. You had to aggressively Google, or just get really good at practising your fake laugh so it looked like you knew what was happening.

3) You can’t always shop till you drop

Bet you thought shopping hours were universal, didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU? Well, you were wrong. When I moved to Germany from the UK, I had a rude awakening when I wanted to pop to the Supermarket on a Sunday.

4) Brushing up on your new language? Nice try buddy

You put time into learning a new language, look at you! But no matter how many hours you spent on Babbel, chances are people still wanted to practise their English on you, even if you started the convo in your new lingo. Not good for the ol’ ego.

5) Shameless Wise plug

Setting up a bank account abroad can be h to the a to the r to the d. So you put your clever cookie pants on and get a Wise account.

6) Bureaucracy and healthcare

You may have learned the language but bureaucracy and healthcare are languages of their own.

7) Google translate gave you trust issues

It’s not always accurate. You either made a fool of yourself or ended up with something you did not care for at a restaurant.

8) To Jaywalk, or not to Jaywalk? That shouldn’t really be a question

I’m not advocating Jaywalking (walking on a red light). It is very naughty. Very naughty indeed. But, we’ve all done it, and in some places it is more frowned upon than others. Jaywalked in Germany? You either got a fine, or at the very least, yelled at by an Oma.

9) You missed food you didn’t even really like back home

This likely led to significant overeating when you went home. I’m not proud of my crumpet consumption. You likely also had a few jaw-dropping moments when you saw the cost of your home products abroad.

10)Your personality is different depending on the language you’re speaking

Exhibit A: Believe it or not, I am even less funny in German.

11) You suddenly realised you’re way more [insert where you’re from] than you realised

People bombarded you with stereotypes, but my god did you lean into them.

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