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How to start a thrilling new year abroad

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Published 3 months ago

Your dream has finally come true and you're starting a new year in a new country. Keeping in mind that moving abroad is a challenge, there are so many ways to keep yourself busy while getting the most of your new home. Expat.com gives you some tips to help you start an exciting new year abroad.

Make a wish list

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If you have just moved abroad – regardless the length of your stay – thousands of wishes and ideas are probably flashing across your mind. Even if you don't have the time or the means to fulfill your dreams right now, that doesn't mean you cannot start planning ahead. In any case, moving to a new country involves a lot of research during which you may have spotted a couple of places of interest such as museums, beaches, islands, or even rivers or lakes that you would like to explore whenever you get the opportunity. Start by making a wish list for your forthcoming vacations. Those who like surf or diving, for example, can inquire about the most popular spots in the area. Why not request for assistance from the tourism office or from the locals?

Make some savings

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Obviously, you will need a budget to be able to give shape to your dreams and projects. It's high time for you to start making some savings but without necessarily depriving yourself in the meantime. Think about all the interesting things you will get to do during your weekend getaways or your long vacations. But if you're planning to travel, there are so many things like your plane or train tickets, accomodation, food, and leisure to take into account. In some cases, residents are eligible for special offers just like the locals. Keep an eye on these offers and choose the one that best fits your budget. Also, keep in mind that the cost of living can vary from one region to another – which can have a significant impact on your budget.

A road trip can also be an interesting experience for the adventurous expats, but make sure to consider additional costs such as car rental, fuel and assistance in case of breakdown. In case your savings don't seem enough, consider other ways to make some extra money. Have you ever though of selling things that are no longer of use to you such as your umpteenth par of boots or that wintercoat you've worn only once? You could also take up a part time job.

Plan your holidays

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Once you have created your budget, you can now start planning your getaways. You must have an idea by now of things you would like to do and places you would like to visit. However, it all depends on whether you're going alone or with your family, or with friends. If you're planning to travel with your partner, for example, make sure your project suits both of you so that none of you gets bored. Taking the kids out on vacation also involves proper planning taking into account their age, activities available, and your budget. Also, remember to inquire on the ideal season or time of the year to travel to these places to avoid being disappointed. In general, expats tend to prefer mild or warm temperatures to cold winters, unless you like skiing. And in case you wish to attend a particular festival or event, make sure you have enough paid leaves so that you won't have to call in sick! For a better planning, feel free to seek help from the nearest tourism office or travel agencies.

Check your bank holidays

festival
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Those having just landed a job in their host country won't be eligible for paid annual leaves so soon. Also, expats who have taken all their paid leaves for the year don't have to be disheartened. You can still enjoy a couple of bank holidays during which you can discover more about your host country's culture, traditions and lifestyles. In many Asian countries, for example, some religious or cultural festivals stretch over a whole week, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy current events along with the local cuisine.

Create memories

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There's no doubt that exploring your new country will give an exciting turn to your stay abroad. So while you're hiking in the mountains, spending a day at the beach or strolling at the zoo or in a theme park, take lots of pictures that you can share on social networks or on your blog with a small anecdote if you enjoy writing. In case you don't have many friends in the country, maybe it's time for you to get connected to the locals, your friends' friends, people you come across regularly at the park or at the coffee shop or those you encounter at an event. With their help, you might be able to learn more about your new country and why not start living like a local!