Moving and leaving home is not an easy feat. The culture shock can be real sometimes! As someone who’s lived abroad multiple times before, I decided to spill all my tips & tricks on how you can feel at home in a new country!
Hello! My name is Rebecca, I’m from Malta and I’ve lived in both Italy and Germany. So I know a thing or two about living in a new country and the challenges it brings. I have dealt with homesickness, fear .. you name it! During my times as an expat, I learned a thing or two so I decided to share everything I know with you
1. Get yourself out of the house:
If you’re anything like me, change scares me and when I moved to Italy especially, I let that take over and confined myself to my apartment which I REGRET so much. I wish I got out and walked around my town. You don’t have to walk for hours. Even if it’s going to the grocery store and taking a different road or walking around the city centre more. You might be surprised with the hidden gems you might find. Such as amazing gelato places you looked over the other day!
2. Embrace ALL The Changes:
Every country does things differently. There’s a big chance that your new home operates differently than your home country. My word of advice is don’t let these changes hold you back and overwhelm you. Embrace them! Jump head first and learn why locals do the things the way they do.
3. Make Friends Even With Locals:
Having a good group of friends helps a ton! Firstly, you won’t be lonely. Secondly, if your friends happen to be locals, they can give you all the insider tips and tricks to make your move a little easier. There are many ways you can make friends. First of all there’s Facebook groups! When I moved to Italy, I introduced myself in an Erasmus group and met some awesome people there. When I moved to Germany, I met some military spouses after I posted in the spouses page! I wish I pushed myself more so listen to me when I say don’t hold yourself back!
4. Get Familiar With Moving Around:
Getting comfortable with public transportation is key. Firstly, it makes life easier for you and secondly, it opens your horizons to exploring your new home more! Trains in Germany are great (albeit very expensive) and so does Italy. I made use of it many times to visit a ton of places all around Italy. Google Maps is your friend but also do some research if countries have any transportation apps! For example in Malta, you can download an app called Tal-Linja and it shows all the routes round Malta and it also tells you when the bus is due to come in real time
5. Get Acquainted With Local Cuisine:
Don’t let different flavors stop you from trying local cuisine! You might fall in love with a brand new dish. That happened to me with Pierogies in Poland and German potato salad in Germany. I suggest looking for small, family owned restaurants and corner shops that sell homemade food! When I was in Forli, I tried piadina’s for the first time every and loved them. They’re something different than what I am used to and I found myself eating them almost every single day.
6. Shout Out Your Move:
One thing I wish I had done sooner is start a blog. I started Yours Truly Rebecca in 2018 when I moved to Germany to document our adventures and get my creative juices flowing. I wish I had done this before. Making yourself known in social media can also help you find new friends and connect with other bloggers! Also, you get to share any information you learned on your travels with other readers and help them which is such a rewarding feeling!
7. Learn The Language:
You don’t have to be fluent but it does help learning some common used phrases when moving around, at the grocery store and so on. I was fluent in italian before moving and I found that very helpful. But when I moved to Germany, I was not that fluent and I did find it a bit challenging especially since we were in a part of Germany where locals rarely spoke English. You can join a language class! There are a ton of them if you do research. That’s also another way to make friends. you can also download duolingo or buy books for dummies. I have on German for Dummies and found it very helpful.
8. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone:
THIS! This is so important – in everything not just what we’re talking about right now. You can easily fall into the same habits & routine that you had back home. In order to fully appreciate your new home, you need to get out and be uncomfortable. Don’t let the fear of new things hold you back!
9. Home Is Where The Heart Is:
Another thing that helped me make my new home more like home, especially in Germany, was to decorate it with trinkets and souvenirs that reminded me of home. I bought posters and souvenirs reminding me of Malta and looking at them really helped. I cooked Maltese dishes the best way that I could, stayed in touch with family, decorated my home with items that reminded me of Malta and I found those things really helped me
10. Learn, learn, learn:
What I mean by this is don’t be afraid to learn new things & implement them. Learn local cuisine, cooking techniques, language, driving, folklore and so on! Doing all of these makes you familiar with the culture and thus making you feel more at home in the end. Knowledge is power and use if to your advantage!
Do you have any more tips to share with us?
That brings an end to today’s post! I hope you found it entertaining but most importantly found it helpful. While you’re still here, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and pin this blog post to your Pinterest boards!
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