How I cope living away from home?
One of the most frequent things I get asked when people learn I am an expat in Malaysia is how I cope living away from my friends and family. So in this post I thought I would write about the ways I have found to cope with it
- You cannot keep in touch with everyone
When you first move abroad you try and keep in touch with all your friends, the postman, the cashier at boot who served you while you were stocking up on suncream etc. ok, so it may not be quite as dramatic as that but it is hard to keep in touch with everyone as you end up spending more time emailing, whatsapping, skyping than you spend on your paid work and exploring your new country. So when moving abroad it is important to be realistic about how often you can keep in contact with people which is why a blog is a great idea! If they are a good friend then they will appreciate you can’t chat to them everyday and your friendship will survive!
- But the internet is your life saver..
In the old days it use to be paper, pens and the mail service so it would take weeks to find your friends breaking news but now we have the internet so you can skype, whatsapp, viber, wechat-there are so many ways you can keep in touch with friends more frequently. I have attended parties in the UK, helped organise weddings and been a shoulder to cry on because of skype. While snapchat has now become a war of is the weather better in the UK or Malaysia with my cousin. The only thing to remember is the time difference which can lead to me staying up till very early in the morning so I can chat to friends on skype.
- I have a free slot on Wednesday 2-4pm
When you do come home for a few weeks you end up running round to see everyone and in the process become to shattered to enjoy anyone’s company and are always too worried about not spending enough time with people/ making sure you are on time for your next lunch/cake appointment. There will be lots of cake and food so you will end up going back to your expat life a lot heavier! If you can arrange for groups of friends to meet, hire a house for a weekend and sit back and catch up with them all at once. Also……
- Encourage your friends to come and see your abroad
Persuade friends to come and visit your new home/ meet you in another country and have adventures and catch up at the same time. This way they get a glimpse into your life and you have shared adventures to talk about instead of being worried about seeming to be big-headed talking about the time you did this and that.
Many people don’t want to move abroad because they are scared in will destroy friendships but instead it can help develop them as you have adventures together, make more of an effort to chat and it shows who your real friends are as they will still be there when you go back to your home country.