When moving somewhere new, it’s common to let the the stress of dealing with unfamiliar surroundings take over. We forget why we were motivated to move in the first place, and many times, we let uncertainty and fear negatively affect the transition into our new lifestyle. It can all be very overwhelming.
Don’t worry though, these feelings are completely normal.
Anyone who’s stepped out of their comfort zone to take on the challenge of starting a life in a new place is already much stronger than they may think. However, we’re all only human, and the mind is a powerful thing.
Here are 5 mantras to help any expat who’s in need of provoking some positive, inspiring thoughts.
1. This is a new place. It’s supposed to be different.
When you’re first getting adjusted to your life as an expat, it can be incredibly daunting. Everything is different, and small tasks that you could mindlessly do at home suddenly become a bit more intimidating.
The best way to combat that feeling of being a fish out of water? Embrace it.
Remember, you have the privilege of learning something new every single day, and also get to test yourself in an unfamiliar situation that most others would never dare put themselves into. You’re brave as they come!
2. Go on, try it.
Whether it’s taking a different bus route home, going out with a new group of people, or tasting the strange-looking food on your plate, your best bet is to just give it a try. It may not seem like it in the moment, but every time you say ‘yes’ to a new experience, you grow as a person.
Eventually, the things that once made you nervous will become second nature, and you’ll be thankful that you allowed yourself to experience life outside the box.
3. You’re in control of your next move.
So, you missed the last train home, you haven’t made a lot of friends yet or your phone died, and Google Maps went with it. These things happen…to everyone.
Not everything will always work out seamlessly when putting yourself in unfamiliar territory; that’s a given. It’s important for you to accept that possibility before stepping into the situation, that way, even if things do go south, you’re not thrown completely off guard.
Regardless of the outcome, keep in mind that you are always in control of what you’ll do next, so prepare for the worst, and you’ll manifest the best!
4. You’re not a tourist.
No, you’re not. Broadening your horizons through travel is a form of education that’s often overlooked.
You’re a worthy contributor to a foreign community, a brave explorer and a student of the world. You’ve chosen to educate yourself in a less traditional way, beyond books and exams, and experience new cultures, people and places instead.
Maybe you’re not 100% fluent in the language yet, or you’re still unsure of traveling the streets without a map, but give yourself some credit! You’ve fully immersed yourself in a new culture, and that in itself deserves major self-recognition.
5. Every moment contributes to the grand adventure.
It may sound cheesy, but it’s true.
Every experience, good or bad, is a part of what makes life as an expat so amazing. You have the opportunity to learn things that you otherwise never would, and develop a special kind of self-confidence that’s carried into future stages of your life. Even the more unfortunate experiences that may occur during your time abroad will eventually become fond memories, as you discover that you independently made it through the toughest of times.
The best part is, while you’re busy learning, growing and persevering, you’re simultaneously having the time of your life. Two birds, one stone!