6 Tips For Thriving Through "The Expat Wall"
The Expat Wall. It happens. What happens when you feel stuck? When your job starts becoming a bother, homesickness kicks in, boss is a stress box, and co-workers are unreliable. Going home is an option, but the feeling/need to go isn't really there. You love what you're doing, but you feel as though you're missing something. Here are six tips for thriving through The Expat Wall.
Pick Up A Book
May sound simple, but read more. Few things get the creative juices flowing like getting lost in a good novel. Sometimes your brain just needs a break from reality. To be taken on a journey beyond the limits of your own imagination. A good book will certainly do the trick. A bad one could too honestly.
Just Do It
Plan your next trip, and book it. Don't sweat the small stuff, find something, click it, and make it happen. One of the best benefits of being an expat is that you can pack up and go whenever you need or want to. Don't bother asking and confirming with friends, because that can take forever. Everyone isn't always down for an adventure, and when you're in need of one the most, it's best not to be dependent on others. Self happiness first. Don't bother being as thorough as you usually are. Trust yourself. Find good accommodation near one or two things that'll definitely appease you and just go.
Take a break from social media. This is all too important. As an expat it's one of the few ways we're able to stay connected to our home, family, friends, and celebs that we follow. However, not everything on the web is positive. There's definitely a possibility to sometimes overuse and become reliant on the media sources we rely on to keep us connected to home. High touch with social media can put an expat out of touch with reality. If you find yourself checking social media more than once an hour, pull away. Drop the phone, pick up a book, go for a run, visit the gym, DO SOMETHING. Avoid the social media bubble. It's hard to escape once in, and is a sure fire way to miss out on something amazing that's been right underneath your nose.
Rewrite you resume. Not because you're looking to leave or job searching. For an expat, writing a resume while abroad and on the job is a reminder of all the amazing experiences you've had and all you have accomplished personally and professionally. No matter the job, you've done things you never thought you would, and encountered obstacles that you've thrived through. Writing a resume is a good, positive way to remind you of that.
Try something new in your home away from home. No need to leave the country, but find a hobby, exhibit, festival, or group that's as foreign to you as your environment, and try it. "I would do that if I only had time" should be a phrase seldom used. Making time for yourself should always be a priority. As an expat, more times than not you have more time on your hands than you'll ever have at other times of life. Use it wisely and step outside of your comfort zone because, odds are, you're already there.
The Power of The Pen
Write. Tell your story. It doesn't have to perfect or written for anyone else to see or read. It can just be for yourself. Years down the line you'll want to reflect on those memories you've made with amazing people, students, employees, professionals, crazy travel partners and more. There's power in the Pen. Never forget it.
Listen to the extended list here