So, you’ve done it. You followed our 5 tips to buy a home abroad, picked a house, and are moved in.
Now you are officially living abroad, which is what this blog is all about after all. Just because you’ve made the jump doesn’t mean the battle is over.
Living somewhere new isn’t easy right off the bat, at least not for most of us. As exciting as our new home is, there are differences here than the place you grew up.
Sure, you won’t get a Chicago hot dog if you are living in Paris and if you are used to taking siestas in Barcelona you might find that the way folks spend their day might be different in Dubai.
Nonetheless, these cultural differences are intriguing but can also be overwhelming especially if the common language is not yours.
On top of all that, your friends and family aren’t just a hop skip and jump away. You can’t just pop over to you mother’s house to see what she’s up to.
That’s okay though, the rewards from living abroad and immersing yourself into the local culture will be more than anything you imagined. There is nothing more eye opening than jumping out of your comfort zone.
That said, it’s important to make the landing a little less jarring, which can be done by making your new house feel like a home.
Here are some ways to do that.
Create A Garden
Depending on your time of course, creating a garden at your home will give you a sense of belonging.
By setting plant roots into the ground, be them for landscaping or for growing produce, you will be symbolically planting roots into your new home.
Of course, you need to familiarize yourself with the type of gardening you can do in your new home, if any.
If you’ve shipped your gardening equipment already great. If not, you should consider going small and letting your collection of tools grow as you let your life unfold in your new home abroad.
For example, you can get a lot of work done with a string trimmer, in fact cordless is more convenient. Consider your needs versus the length of time you are spending in your new home when starting such a project.
You should get tons of frames and put the pictures of those you love and left behind around your new home.
If you have a big wall, you can dedicate it to memories and do a fun mosaic of picture frames and art so that every time you walk past it you will be forced to see the smiling faces of the folks you love.
There are so many benefits to hanging pictures in your home.
Not only will you be reminding yourself of folks that are now living far away from you but your new friends that come over will see what a warm and loving person you are with your wall of dedication.
It also makes a house look great and will give you an immense sense of comfort.
Put Out Familiar Things
Hopefully you picked a few things from you old home to display in your new home abroad.
We already went over the photos but what about that favorite vase you love to put cut flowers in when you get home from the market?
It could be something as simple as a chalkboard for the refrigerator door to a Buddha statue you picked up during your travels.
When you fill you home with some familiar objects this new house will instantly have a sense of home because, even though it’s all new to you, there will be certain items strewn about that make you feel like your home.
Create A Routine
This tip is different than the others because it doesn’t focus on decorating your new home. Instead it attempts to give you a sense of normalcy in your new surroundings.
Little things you do like make your coffee in the morning to what grocery store you shop at all give you a sense of belonging to a certain area of the world.
You might ride your bicycle to work or take a train. Whatever your new routine will be in your new home you need to get it set as soon as possible.
Find that coffee shop in your neighborhood or the local post office. Will you be driving a car? Where will you buy gas?
All of the things you do on a day to day basis is your routine. When living abroad, at least in the beginning, these things will establish themselves as you investigate your new community.
Don’t be afraid to change it up if you find that you are just going to certain areas because you are afraid to find something better.
If you aren’t happy with the market you buy your groceries ask around and find another. You moved to another culture to explore.
But remember, humans are creatures of habit so establishing a routine will be helpful in making your new location a home to you.
Not many people in the world have the means or courage to move more than fifty kilometers from where they grew up, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Some folks like to stay put while others like to have new experiences. By moving abroad you’ve already decided which one of the two you are.
Take advantage of the opportunity and learn as much as you can while learning to make it a place you can call home.