A foreigner abroad at some point will inevitably begin to miss home. Maybe not the hectic pace, and maybe not even the people. I’ve noticed it more the things we didn’t think mattered, like a specific food, restaurant, ice cream stand, bottle of vino and given enough time, pesky family. Whatever it is we miss the best thing to do is find an alternative for the void instead of just trying to ignore it and hope it’ll go away. Here are a few ideas to ponder and perhaps they’ll help you fit in to your new landscape….
- First and foremost walk your neighborhood. Let your local neighbours get to know you and more importantly get to know their names. Never underestimate the value of getting to know who your neighbours are.
- Walk to your local shops. Take the time to linger and see what valuable things are for sale. It could be just the most remote item you needed for a house project or your hobby. Why walk? It will force you to take your time instead of whizzing by in a car and usually as you saunter by you see the small details. Try this more than just once.
- Go to restaurants for lunch. This allows you to get an idea of the food they offer, the service, price and of course the staff. Again, if these are in your neighbourhood be polite and get to know everyone’s names. You might not eat there often if you don’t like the food but you don’t want to look like the foreign snob!
- Go to your local police station. Sounds weird but if you’re going to be living in a small community as opposed to a large urban area, getting to know the police officers is a good idea. They’ll be surprised you made the effort to introduce yourself, perhaps taking them a cold Coke or freshly brewed coffee’s a baked goods. This may go a long way to keeping yourself, property and possessions safe from local crime.
- If you love books, find a book exchange. If there isn’t one, try beginning one by partnering with a local business or hotel. Trying to find clever ways of getting new books into your stock pile will keep you quite busy!
- Volunteer. Is there a local club or organization, hospital, nursing home or animal shelter that needs help?
- Learn the history of the town you’re moving to. Whether it’s a small town or a big city, there could be some great history of how life began there. Sometimes you need to find locals to sit and chat with if there isn’t a library or museum.
- Learn the language. Even if you’re going to and English speaking country, there may be a local dialect that’ll help you when conducting business, travelling or at the local shops.
Got some ideas of your own? Share them with me!
Authur Ordinary Day With Milena