orangepeeljedi avatar

Any immigrants here? How have your experiences been so far? I'll be moving out of my country for the first time, and it's scary AF.


Obviously, a lot about what you will experience will vary depending on your background, where you are moving from and where you are moving to. I’m a well-off white American living in Spain and I have had a very different experience from a friend who moved from Kenya.

That said, there will be a number of common things.

  1. Get used to being confused and uncomfortable. A simple example of this is when you go to a small bank branch here there isn’t an obvious queue. There will just be a bunch of people standing around. What you are supposed to do is ask “who is last”. Then, once they are done, you know you are next in line. Not a major issue but your will be constantly encountering things like that.
  2. Making local friends will usually be hard. Knowing the language will help a lot but, unless you are moving to someplace like Ireland, it will take a lot more effort.
  3. Being in a new country won’t change who you are. I know someone who moved to Europe planning to travel to a new country every month. But they didn’t do that because that’s not what they did before moving. So, after a few months, they reverted to not traveling much because that’s ultimately what they preferred.
  4. Being in a new country will change who you are. Being forced to interact with a new culture will change how you view the world. You will likely learn a lot about yourself that you didn’t know, learn how to navigate different cultures better and just understand people better.

Overall, I highly recommend living in a country. If nothing else, it is not boring.

One final piece of advice: if you can, find a local lawyer who speak your language, get their business card (or write down their contact info) and put it in your wallet. Also save it on your phone. If anything happens where you really really need help, being able to contact a lawyer quickly is very helpful.

orangepeeljedi avatar

@count_borrell Thank you for the tips. Especially the third one. I have this false hope that being in a new place will change me dramatically like being more social for instance. May be I will have some minor changes but it's unfair to expect this and that from a new country.


It’s not a complete false hope. See point 4.

By itself moving to a new country won’t change the core of who you are. But it does give a good opportunity for change. It helps a lot if you are able to set aside some time to reflect on your interactions and experiences. For me a big catalyst for change was paying attention to why I was doing things. Was it just out of habit or because it was what I know? Or was it something I really want to do?

Funnily enough being more social is one of the big things that changed for me. Partially because I found a group of friends I like, partially because I came to understand what I want out of being social. Also what my limits on socializing are. But all that took effort. In the form of both in finding friends and understanding myself. It also wasn’t quick. Probably took me 2-3 years so give yourself plenty of time.

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