Part II, Is Expat Life Right For You?

About once a week I get an email from an expat-hopeful asking me about Italy, telling me about his or her dream to move abroad and thanking me for my positive and “inspirational” posts about living in a new country.

American Expats in Catanzaro Calabria Italy


No pressure here …

So, last week over at ACC, we began a discussion on what it takes to be an expat and I shared some things I’ve noticed over the years that the most successful expats don’t do.

Go ahead and check out that post … but be sure to come back.

Well, did any of those things sound doable? If so, you might be on the right track towards expat dream reality. But just to be sure, here are four things I have noticed expats DO to ensure they are happy and successful in their new lives.

Expats Do …

– Share a sense of adventure
We know how envious the expat-life can be to our friends and family back home and even though we might complain from time to time, we know it is pretty darn cool to live here.

The expats I know all share a sense of adventure, whether that includes traveling, cooking new dishes or mustering up the courage to talk their neighbors. And when there isn’t an adventure, we create an opportunity for one.

For example, right now I see my father-in-law walking through the garden with a plastic sack of snails he is gathering for lunch. I mean, you just don’t see THAT every day.

– Enjoy meeting new people
While it is possible to move to a new country, lock yourself up tight and hide out in a hole … it’s certainly not the way most expats do it.

In fact, many expats like to meet new people, especially the locals.

And I don’t know, maybe it is just me … but I kinda like talking to the old folks. There is just something about their patriotism and wise patience that makes me want to know more.

– Like to learn
And speaking of knowing more, every expat I have ever met likes to learn.


Every one of them.

Whether we are learning a new language, taking up a new sport or talking to our new friends about their culture, we like to soak up the knowledge, then share that with you on our blogs, on Facebook or via Twitter.

– Realize that nothing is forever, and if we want to, we can Just. Go. Home.
And once I realized that, I was much, much happier here.

Even though it is fun and exciting and adventurous to move overseas, leaving the comfort of your home country, your friends, your job and your family is scary stuff.

This doesn’t mean many expats would take the easy way out and leave our new lives, but that when things get tough-and I’m sorry to tell you, they do get tough-we take it one day at a time until things get better.

What characteristics and traits do you think successful expats share?

Buon Weekend!

* This post is written on behalf of Click here to read similiar posts written by other expats in the ACC expat community.

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