Have you met my girl Rachel? I reserve the right to call her ‘my girl’, because we’re thick as thieves (can that be possible with just two people?). Basically, I love her to pieces. She’s known for her rockstar blog Postcards From Rachel, in which she writes stellar post after stellar post. If you follow travel blogs/expat blogs, I’m sure you’ve already stumbled upon Rachel’s blog. I’m so happy she’s guest posting for me today, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy her post as much as I did!
Hello, Living in Another Language readers! I’m Rachel and I blog over at Postcards from Rachel. I started my travel and lifestyle blog while living abroad in Scotland and now I write about moving around every 6 months for my husband’s job. At times it can be difficult, but it also gives us the unique opportunity to travel all over the place. Right now we’re located in Boston and next year we’ll be headed back to Washington, DC which is where we met while we were both working in the city.
Since Amanda is an expat living in South Korea, I figured I’d discuss the things no one tells you before moving abroad. Thank you for having me Amanda! :)
1. People will look at you funny — and it’s hilarious.
Whenever we left our flat in Scotland to run errands, whether it was going to the grocery store or buying a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks, people would stop and stare as soon as they heard our American accents. At one point when I was at the coffee shop while B was at work, someone actually approached me and complimented my accent. Thanks, Scots!
Building on this…
2. Even if you’re in an English-speaking country, communicating is sometimes difficult.
First of all, Scottish accents are really, really hard to understand. I’d catch myself smiling and nodding way too often because I had no clue what these men and women were saying! The folks we met in Aberdeen were hilarious and kind, so this was a shame. Especially when we first moved there — that was rough.
Secondly, just because you speak the same language doesn’t mean you use the same words for the same things. I remember asking someone where a trash can was and they were completely confused because I didn’t use the word “bin”. Little things like that made living abroad interesting. :)
3. You’ll lose a lot of your friends back home.
I’m not trying to make moving abroad sound depressing because it was the best decision we’ve ever made, but I lost a lot of my “good” friends. Sometimes distance does not make the heart grow fonder and eventually, you lose touch. Or they don’t understand your life choices and you’re pushed away. But don’t let that stop you because…
4. You’ll grow tremendously as an individual.
I’ve always been an independent person, but wow did I learn a lot about myself during our time abroad! I didn’t have family and friends to lean on because we were overseas all alone, so I spent most of my time reading, writing, finding new hobbies, and roaming around the city. It made me more creative, I focused more on the important things in life, and it made me a lot stronger.
5. You’ll become addicted to travel.
I want to explore the entire world now. I want to learn about different cultures, cook strange foods — I just want to live a wanderlust-filled life. That’s the beauty of being brave and moving your life abroad; it opens you up to so much more. Life is filled with endless opportunities!
Thanks so much for reading — I hope you’ll stop by and say hello! And don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any expat-related questions. :)