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Everyone’s path to happiness is different, whether you’re about to become or already are an expat, we have identified 10 essential habits to make your life as an expatriate happier and more fulfilling: 

  1. Create a routine as soon as possible
    Especially for partners who may not be working yet or just finding their feet. A daily routine offers the comforting sense of familiarity in an unfamiliar location.
     
  2. Talk. Share experiences with those you meet
    It will make you feel more “normal” and you will learn from others, too. By sharing your experiences you’ll make new friends and settle in quicker.
     
  3. Learn the language of the country
    This will not only give you cultural insights, but is a great way to connect with others, too.
     
  4. Keep a travel journal/scrapbook of your ticket stubs, photos, restaurant menus, etc.
    This is a great way to remember your experience and celebrate what you have accomplished during your stay – especially if you plan to move back home. 
     
  5. Do something that you would never do at home
    If you can’t dance, take Tango lessons in Argentina. If you can’t sing, rent a karaoke box in Japan. Remember that no one knows you when you first arrive and as the saying goes, when in Rome…
     
  6. See the move as a journey of self-discovery
    Happy expats check in with themselves and reflect on their experiences regularly. 
     
  7. Travel "locally."
    It can be tempting to focus travels on going back home or exotic top locations. Don't forget to explore the city you are in and even your own neighborhood.
     
  8. Allow a bad day or two
    Cultural adjustment is a process. It’s ok to be down or feel overwhelmed. Just acknowledge the feeling and look for ways to take it a little easier for a few days. 
     
  9. Stay connected back home
    Find ways to balance between creating new relationships in your new city and maintaining those back home. This keeps you feeling connected and makes moving back home less bumpy. 
     
  10. Embrace your new home country 
    You are an expat, not a visitor. Your host country is very much your new home country. In order to be happy you need to see it as such. Step out of your comfort zone – by giving into your curiosity you will be able to adapt to your new surroundings.
 

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