3 tips to overcome big obstacles when living abroad πŸ’‘

What can you do to overcome these three obstacles when living abroad?

living abroad
Expat Life Coach practitioner. Abroad with Susana.

In this article, you will learn THREE tips for living abroad. These tips are simple and doable, so they help you in three areas of your life. The topics you will read about today are moving around, communicating in a foreign language and New Cuisine.

3 big obstacles when living abroad

Since you have made some friends in your new country, you want to meet them as often as possible. To get to know them better. So, when they invite you for a lunch or playdate with your children, you are thrilled.

But then you hesitate because since you are living abroad, you do not feel confident navigating in an unfamiliar city. You rely on using the app on your phone to get to the address, but you are afraid of getting lost that is stopping you. If you get lost, you need to ask for directions, and that is another issue: how to communicate in your acquired language.

And then, when you get to the party or gathering you are invited to, you feel embarrassed to admit that you might not be able to eat the food the lovely friends have thoughtfully prepared, but it only is because you are not used to that taste, yet.

What can you do to overcome these obstacles?

Use these three tips that I started practising after I began living abroad.

Soon you can create new habits that will help you feel more confident and decided. You will start using them at your own pace and soon incorporate them into your daily life.

The best of all is that you will gradually feel more motivated and encouraged to keep trying new things and feel more at home.

TIP #1 Moving Around when living abroad

You want to visit your friends, or you have an appointment with your municipality or your doctor. How can you prepare yourself mentally and overcome your fear of navigating in your new city? 

You will prepare your route the evening before so you will be ready in the morning. Checking on the internet what is the easiest or fastest way to get to your friends. Knowing already what to do will give you some confidence. It will then be just a matter of doing it!

How to do it? You will be applying 5-SECOND RULE by Mel Robbins.

– use the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown technique to beat the self-doubt, fear, circumstances, and excuses that hold you back.-

5-SECOND RULE by Mel Robbins.

GET Mel Robbins 5-SECOND RULE book and get many more insights.

What does it mean? Well, for you, it will mean that you will follow your plan. Breath, countdown from 5 to 1, and jump to practice your plan of action. Take your route map, and go!

In the morning, you would not hesitate to leave your house. 

I am not saying you will get it right the first time!

Look, I got lost many times, changing trains, exiting the wrong side of the station, taking a rapid train instead of a local. You name it!!

But, you will be on the right track!

TIP #2 Communicating in a foreign language 

Similarly to preparing a route plan, make a list with the most common words you will need. Write five or six questions you believe are the most useful for you when asking for directions. For instance, Where is the nearest station? How do I get to…? Then look for the most common words you may get as an answer. For example, turn Right, turn left, go straight, at the next corner.

The night before, you will listen to some language app or podcast these common questions and answers. So you can more easily identify them in a long sentence. When we start learning a language, we do not need to understand the whole sentence. Only getting the keyword is enough!. Practice your listening skills focusing on these five or six words so you will easily identify them.

You Have a list of words, and you know how to pronounce them, so you only want to practice! You will be ready to do so and remember when fear appears, countdown from 5 to 1 and do it!

TIP #3 New cuisine

Same way, I came across a new world of tastes and aromas you will be too! It is so wonderful! Unless you have dietary restrictions, you can dive into the new culture through the local cuisine.

I did not enjoy every new savour right from the start, but gradually I got used to it and finally just loved it! So, it can be your case too!

The Tofu was my first disappointment. In 1997 living in Barcelona, I had never heard about Tofu, so I imagined a raw cheese taste when I first saw it. Similar to mozzarella or fresh cheese. So far from it!

Get familiarised yourself with some flavours and tastes from the local cooking and give yourself the time to get used to it. Be honest and humble with your friends and let them know you are new to many tastes so everyone will understand!

 It is impossible, said pride.

It is risky, said experience.

It is pointless, said reason.

Give it a try, whispered the heart.


Do not let fear stop you

To sum up, do not let fear stop you from moving around in your new city. Instead, make a plan focusing on learning specific ways to get where you want to go. Similarly, to practice your acquired language, make a shortlist with practical words you will need to use for a specific moment.

Be prepared, and give yourself the time to get used. Be nice to yourself, and enjoy the journey!

Do you want to know more about Expat Life and how to benefit the most out of it?
Are you looking for more personalized tips and feel more at ease while living abroad?
I am an Expat Life Coach practitioner with more than 20 years living abroad. Through coaching sessions, I can provide some guidance to you. You will not feel lost in your new country, but start feeling more engaged and determined.
You may contact me by clicking the button below and booking a consultation call.

If what you are looking for is to learn more about how to invest in yourself and grow while living abroad, visit the Launch You program to get some ideas!

See you at my next post!

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