The top 10 questions that expats are tired of hearing when they announce they are moving abroad!

Published on 2020-06-04 at 07:45
Do you remember that day when you finally decided to be brave enough to pack up your things and move to a new place? You were all excited and pumped and couldn’t wait to tell your friends and family. In the end, many of them were probably very happy for you, but still asked a lot of things you cannot stand hearing anymore.

Is it safe to live in _______ (insert any place)?

This was the first thing anyone seemed to be getting asked about. 

Sure, it’s nice that they show concern about your wellbeing and overall safety, but it does get tiring. 

Expats might be overall more adventurous types of people, but we are not stupid. So if they fell in love with a place so much, that they have decided to give up all they have, to create a new life, a new home for themselves somewhere else, then you can be sure ninety percent of them, have thought it through and would not put themselves or their families in a dangerous living situation just because they feel like changing their routine. 

Are there any deadly animals?

Of course, that depends on exactly where you’re moving. But you will be surprised, upon announcing your expatriation, just how many people will ask you whether there are deadly animals where you’re going. Especially if you’re settling in Asian, African or Latin countries...

Of course, there will be wildlife if you chose to move to a place that is actually nothing but a man-made town that has been created along the jungle coastline of Quintana Roo, sure there is a small chance of you getting bitten by a shark if you’re going surfing in shark-infested waters in front of Capetown. And still, it is going to be a very unlikely thing to happen. 

So, yes, there are, but no, it will not be a reason for someone wanting to move abroad canceling these plans. 

Can you drink tap water?

First of all, there is almost no country in this world that offers high-quality tap water! If you don’t live in the countryside of Austria or Switzerland, for example, or in one of their cities that have access to the crystal clear and fresh spring waters from their mountains, you’re unlikely to get high-quality tap water.

Many other countries are purifying their water and treating it with chemicals like chlorine to make sure there aren’t any bacteria in it. You can easily buy filters for your home that make it possible to enjoy this tap water as well, or you purchase big tanks purified water. This might not be the best solution as it always comes with plastic waste, so make sure to get it refilled instead of throwing it away and buying a new one every time!

“My friends want to visit the place you’re living in, can you give recommendations or take them somewhere cool?!”

Sure, it’s okay to ask someone that actually lives in a certain place about it and its surroundings, but imagine that person lives in a very touristy spot, has an actual life, a job, just like anyone else, and is getting asked the same things that one can find easily on the internet as well, day after day. This does get very tiring after a while. Just because expats chose to live in a place where others enjoy their week of vacation, you cannot expect them to show you around like a tour guide. They already have a job. So please consider this when you’re asking someone for travel advice, that you could have just looked up yourself online. 

Aren’t you going to miss your family and friends?

Sure we will miss them, and even more so in some situations. Our first Christmas or first birthday away is not going to be easy and we know that. But moving to another place does not necessarily mean that you are going to lose touch with your loved ones back home. It is up to oneself to keep up a relationship and nourish it.

Why did you choose this place?

Well, why do we buy certain things, why are we traveling to some places more often than to others, why do we hang out with one person instead of another?

Because we simply like it better. And there are tons of reasons why. Maybe we felt disconnected from the place we used to call home or the job we had or the people we surround ourselves. Maybe it was even a combination of all of the above. It really doesn’t matter. In the end, we just felt happier in this new place, or at least for now and that’s why people choose to make this bold move and leave their comfort zone. 

What are you going to do if you don’t like it there anymore?

I suppose most expats would do again, what they’ve already done before. Move. Look for a new place, maybe go back to their roots or some other spot they’ve come across over time. If you made it happen once, you will less likely be afraid of changing something again. 

How do you get to know people?

This is probably one of the most annoying questions of all of the above, as this is just the same thing all over the world. You go out, have drinks, party, go to a museum, meet co-workers, neighbors that will introduce you to other people and so on and forth. Even dating-apps or Facebook-groups can be helpful to find a new community. You’ve gotta put yourself out there if you’re hoping to make new connections!

What are you going to do if something happens to your family?

Probably the same that we would do if we would still live in the same country. Go and see them. It has never been easier to travel than nowadays, so unless there are unforeseeable events that would prevent us from doing so, we are always just a flight away. 

What if you realize that it wasn’t as you’d expected it to be?

Again, we have already once taken a decision to change our life and throw it upside-down, so I really think this won’t be that big of a deal for an expat. Sure it would mean stress and money and everything, but nothing that hasn’t been accomplished before.