Connect with Others
Now, I’m not going to sit on here and lie to you and say that I have gone out and made tons of friends and that is why I’m so happy.
That’s just not true. I have one friend here (other than Matt) and she is an hour away (on a good day). We make plans with her and her partner, but it’s not that often and mostly it’s just me with Matt and his family.
I do, however, go out of my way to ask the advice of others, in-person and online, that are going through a similar situation.
I have joined a few Facebook pages for Americans living abroad in Australia and for people going through the partner visa process. I have gained a lot of insight into how others perceive living here, so I know if something is “just me” or is it a common problem among other ex-pats and specifically Americans.
News flash: It’s not just me!
I read so many posts that really resonated with me and my exact situation. I was able to read other’s comments, advice, and concerns. This changed everything. I was able to see how people felt living here 10, 20, and 30 years. I picked up on common issues and was able to think about if that was going to be an issue for me.
Honestly, it was a bit depressing. There are a lot of people out there who hate where they are living and felt they were “dragged” here against their will. This just inspired me to not become that person. I want to love where ever I end up in life and I want that place to feel like a choice, not a punishment.
Take the Opportunity to Ask Questions
When I run into other Americans, you can BET that I ask them everything.
- where are you from?
- how long have you been here?
- do you like it here? why/why not?
- any regrets?
- what would you have changed?
- what visa are you on? how long did it take? any advice?
- have you experienced x/y/z? Because I have and it was TOUGH!
You might think, Lindsay, this is why you don’t have friends. That is a bit intense for a stranger. You might be right, but you know what? I have never spoken to another American that didn’t divulge everything willingly and then have a hard time shutting up. It always seems like it’s something they also had bubbling up just waiting for someone to ask.
So, I ask and if it’s too much, it’s too much and they will walk away. That’s their right, but I still have learned something from whatever they were willing to tell me and information is power!
Did any of this information help you? Are you having a hard time living abroad or are you stoked every day about your dream life?
Thanks for reading!