In today’s blog, i will try to break down the challenges i listed previously, challenges expats face according to my experience. I have identified the challenges while living as an expat in Israel, India and the US.
One of the most significant challenge I was facing, is alienation, or the feeling of being lonely, in a foreign and new environment will try to list steps and habits i have developed to battle the lonely feeling.
1 -Connect with other expats: one of the 1st steps we did while being expats. This can be done by searching for accommodation in areas known to host other expats, making it easier to meet people with similar challenges. Every city hosting international residents will have a preferred area for expats. For example in Pune-India, the city we called home for over 3 years, we established our home in an area called Koregon Park, known mostly for being home for the “Osho International Meditation Resort” . Many foreign nationals of Pune were living in the area because of its “international feel” including professionals who have never been to the meditation center.
2 -Join a club: finding an area of interest and joining a local club, where you can meet people with similar interest can help a lot coping with the loneliness struggles. Yoga, painting, sports and so on would be a good start.
3 -Exploration: learn about the local area and its immediate neighboring areas by exploring it, taking walks in nearby areas, mingle with locals, and understand the local culture can be a good opportunity to educate oneself as well as deal with the loneliness while an expat.
4 -Learn the new language and other local skills: learning the local language, even if not to the level of mastery can be a good target as well as learning new skills like cooking the local dishes and preparing local drinks. Learning the language and cooking the local dishes helps a lot in adapting to the new environment and empowers any person when dealing with loneliness in a foreign land.