The ExPat Experience: The Unexpected Challenge

Share something that you had not expected that was a challenge to overcome (it can be a positive or negative challenge). You can share how you dealt with it, or are still trying to, anything that you want to write about. End with three tips on how best to face an unexpected challenge whilst living abroad.

For me the unexpected challenge has been socialising. I am located in the middle of nowhere, which I knew I would be when I moved, but now I’m ready to socialise the reality has suddenly really struck me. The house adjoining ours is owned by Parisians who use it as a holiday home and are therefore rarely there, our across the road neighbour works down south so is rarely there either, and the further down the road neighbours are either busy with work or busy with socialising. None are my age group anyway so I’m somewhat stuck for people to go shopping with, go for coffee with, do anything with.

Of course I still don’t drive yet and still have anxiety issues so getting out to events where I might be able to meet people of my own age is, let’s just say it, impossible. Within walking distance is, well, nothing. Withing cycling distance is a small town, but that’s a long cycle, and I’m out of shape too… To get anywhere I need to drive and be able to go places alone, neither of which is gonna happen right soon. I’m working on it, I really am, but I got nothing right now.

I know I’ve rattled about this before, but this prompt reminded me that my current expat life kinda sucks. I miss having friends I can chat to in person, I miss trips to the cinema to see the latest releases.

Damn, I miss home (U.K.).

My three tips on how to best face an unexpected challenge are:

  1. Face it head on; don’t hide, don’t run, deal with it as it appears because it only gets bigger and scarier the longer you leave it.
  2. Get help if you need it; ask other expats, ask family and friends, get help if you can’t handle it alone.
  3. Take time out; sometimes a trip home or a bit of time away can put things in perspective.


1 comment

  1. Louisa

    Some great advice there!
    <3 Louisa @ Everyone Loves Mail

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