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No More Roaming Fees In Europe

No More Roaming Fees In Europe - ExpatFinder Blog

Last week, the European Parliament voted to abolish data roaming fees for Europe by Christmas of 2015. This new regulation also prohibits telecom corporations to manipulate internet traffic in favour of certain websites for special packages and marketing.

No More Roaming Fees In Europe - ExpatFinder Blog

Image courtesy of: www.tap.info.tn

This new regulation will affect the 28 countries that are members of the European Union, namely Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Irelands, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and The United Kingdom. The parliament aims to have it passed into law by October 2014 and in full efect by December 2015.

 

What This Means For Expats

No More Roaming Fees In Europe - ExpatFinder BlogThis development is favourable for consumers, mainly for expats within the European nations or those who live between the borders of Europe. Under this regulation, international data roaming charges will no longer apply to all mobile devices within the 28 members of the European Union. This will also benefit tourists as they will be able to buy a simple SIM card anywhere in the major cities of Europe and travel without worrying about expensive internet access as you travel across the continent.

Net neutrality also helps consumers gain more service for what they pay for. The web traffic will be the same for all websites and there will be no more priorities for web giants like Google and Netflix, which means that equal traffic will be available for whatever you need.

The expat consumers, one of the primary market for international data roaming will benefit greatly from this new regulation which is said to be the complete opposite of the policies in the United States where regulations favour corporations more than consumers. Data while on a business trip or simply travelling to and from home will now be easier and cheaper.

 

The Connected Continent

No More Roaming Fees In Europe - ExpatFinder Blog

The European Parliament is aiming for a “Connected Continent”, uniting the European nations under the same telecom rules to promote simple, cheap and efficient communication. "This vote is the EU delivering for citizens. This is what the EU is all about – getting rid of barriers to make life easier and less expensive.” Said European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes

“Nearly all of us depend on mobile and internet connections as part of our daily lives. We should know what we are buying, we should not be ripped-off, and we should have the opportunity to change our mind. Companies should have the chance to serve all of us, and this regulation makes it easier for them to do that. It’s win-win.” Continues Vice President Kroes on the European Union’s press release.

The union is also hoping to inspire the rest of the world to follow suit with this new development. While telecom corporations in Europe like ETNO already expressed their dismay about this upcoming regulation and many others in the industry have said that this is “a step in the wrong direction” most consumers in Europe have already expressed a positive response to this regulation and has taken to social media to promote this new regulation via hashtags such as #ConnectedContinent and #NetNeutrality.

 

 

No Roaming Charges, EU Connected Continent, Living Abroad

How To Pick Your Country of Expatriation

 

How To Pick Your Country of Expatriation - ExpatFinder Blog

 

There are a few things you need to consider before actually starting your life as an expat. Some expats are sent by their companies and do not get to choose the country they will relocate to, but for those who do have a choice, there are a few things that you may want to consider once you’ve made up your mind about living abroad.

You may think that you’ve done enough research and you may have had a blast in the country you’ve been living in for a holiday or two, but you’ll be amazed with how different the experiences are when you’re a tourist as opposed to when you’re actually living there. Here are a few suggestions on the main things that are major factors in terms of working and living overseas.

 

How To Pick Your Country of Expatriation - ExpatFinder BlogWeather

Weather is a pretty big factor in any one’s living situation. If you’re someone who likes sunshine and blue skies then London may not be the city for you. If you like sunny days, the sunniest countries in the world are the US (particularly in Arizona), Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, UAE and Northern Australia.

If you’re more like the brooding poet type or you really enjoy singing in the rain then South East Asian countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are perfect  for you. In South East Asia, there are only two seasons so if you like the idea of 3 months of sunshine and 9 months of rain, check these countries out and find out the perfect place for you.

It will be useful to do some research about the worst kind of weather a country has to offer before you move. Take your time in finding out if there are major calamities in this area or if you can really handle a totally different type of weather. The weather can influence someone’s mood greatly, so you really have to take weather into account when you are choosing a country for relocation.

 

HolidaysHow To Pick Your Country of Expatriation - ExpatFinder Blog

Some countries have more holidays than most; for some, a lot of national holidays and vacation leaves are good, but for others it’s an awful waste of time. If you are looking for a place to start a business or outsource services for your growing country, then you might want to avoid countries with too many national holidays and too many vacation leaves. You don’t want to be a party pooper by making people work during a holiday, but you might also be losing money on your business by giving away too much holidays especially if you are planning a business that is very dependent on the workforce.

If you are not planning to start a business overseas and you are simply looking for work experience outside your own country, then take as much holidays as you can get.  Getting national holidays will allow you to travel within your new country of residence or nearby countries. The countries with the most vacation leaves are mostly European countries like Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Austria.

 

How To Pick Your Country of Expatriation - ExpatFinder BlogFood

How you like the local food in a country should always be a factor when you move. If you like savoury food, rice and noodles with lots of flavours and spices, Asia is the best choice for your palette. If you enjoy spicy food head to India, Thailand and Korea, but if you’re not a big fan of rice and you dig spicy food, South America is the next best thing. European countries have the best hearty and healthy food. North America is the go-to place for sinful goodness and big servings. For a blend of cultural flavours, South Africa is a good option for gastronomic delights.

You also have to consider the food that is available in the country that you are moving to. When you’re living overseas you cannot rely on fast food chains, you have to learn how to adapt your preference to what is available. So really think about the kinds of food that you cannot live without and see which places can accommodate your cravings.

 

SafetyHow To Pick Your Country of Expatriation - ExpatFinder Blog

Some people like living on the edge and prefer places where it’s not too safe. Others love the freedom you get from safety. This is something that you should never take lightly. If you are thinking of living overseas with your family, then safety should be your main concern. Take time to research on the safest countries in the world and also keep track of the current events in your final choices of countries. Health is also a factor, make sure you have the proper insurance coverage for expats and research the best ways to stay healthy while living abroad.

If you are not relocating with family, then try places which are not too safe because it does have a tendency to be quite boring. Try looking for neither countries which are on the safest nor the least safe in the world; instead, go for the countries with the most soul. Some countries or cities have more life than others and this has a lot to do with culture, history and the people. If you are young and looking for an adventure abroad, look for places where you can really gain a lot of experiences and way beyond your comfort zone. Take this chance as an expat to re-define your life instead of playing it too safe.

 

How To Pick Your Country of Expatriation - ExpatFinder BlogCulture

Culture is always a good thing to experience when you are starting your life as an expat, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that any type of culture will be good for you. Again, you have to consider your goal when you start your expat life. Are you starting a life abroad to gain experience or is it for a business perspective? If you are moving for business then you should be mindful of culture in considering the country where you will be living. First, will you be able to communicate well with the locals, if you start a business, local communication is a major factor.

If you are moving to a country you have to know a little bit about the local culture and you have to at least appreciate it. You are the expatriate and you should always be able to adapt to the local culture, but that also doesn’t mean that you have to change entirely, which is why choosing the country is important. You have to take some time in researching the culture of the countries you are considering to move to, so that you will know if the cultural practices and the language are tolerable to you. It’s not good to always be guarded or uncomfortable, you go out of your comfort zone for experience, but you don’t necessarily have to live outside it to say that you can handle it.

The work culture of a country is also something you should pay attention to. In Japan, punctuality is a major part of business, in Spain and Italy most businesses still follow the culture to take “siestas” or afternoon naps where offices and shops close down for a long lunch. If you enjoy hard work then countries like South Korea, Czech Republic and Germany should be the top choices for you.

 

FormalitiesHow To Pick Your Country of Expatriation - ExpatFinder Blog

The thing you should consider the most in selecting your country of expatriation are the immigration and taxation policies. Before putting countries in your final list of choices, check if they have a reputation for being tough on immigrants and the chances of getting a job or starting a business in that certain country. You don’t want to run in blind without knowing what’s really in store for you in that country. This is where you really feel the difference between visiting the country as a tourist and staying in the country as an expat.  Also consider your communication with the rest of the world. Check the internet availability and other means of communication that will be important in your life as an expat.

Find out all the things you need to know about the basic lifestyle of an expat in the country including all the documentations that you need along with that. If you can, try to look for jobs before you even move to the country, that way you will be able to have more time and options when you arrive. Stay updated on the expat trends and where most people are moving to these days and why. This way you will have more accurate input in your decision making and you will have everything you need to make an educated (as well as satisfying) choice when you pick your country for expatriation.

 

 

Expat Lifestyle, Living Abroad, How To Be An Expat

 

7 Skills You’ll Learn As An Expat

 

7 Skills You’ll Learn As An Expat - ExpatFinder Blog

 

There are many things you’ll learn and experience while living abroad. One of the many perks of being an expat is that you will definitely accumulate a few skills here and there to adapt to your new life, which will definitely help you grow.

Here are a few of the skills that most expats pick up while living overseas. If as an expat, you still don’t posses these skills, then take a cue from this list and try practicing these skills. You might find these useful for your expat lifestyle.

 

  1. Language Skills

7 Skills You’ll Learn As An Expat - ExpatFinder BlogSure, you may not be fluent in your current country of residence’s language, but you know most of the key words. Living in a country for at least a year should have gained you enough knowledge to know the most basic terms used in the language like the formal greetings, sales or transportation transactions or the most common expressions.

If you find that it will be of greater use for you to really learn the language of the locals, then you can also start taking a class. Knowing even the basics of the local language may give you an advantage not just in your expat work place, but it also gives you an edge in your industry wherever you are. Being able speak more than 1 language is always a useful skill.

 

 

  1. Time Zone Management7 Skills You’ll Learn As An Expat - ExpatFinder Blog

An expat knows the time in more than 1 time zone. Most likely this is because you’d like to keep track of the time at your home country so that you’ll be able to call your loved ones at just the right time, or it could also be because you handle offices in other countries in other time zones and you just have to know what time is the best for sending an email or doing a conference call. Either way, if you live more than a year outside your home country, you will be conscious about more than 1 time zone. Unless of course you live so close by to your home country that you don’t even skip a time zone… in which case, you’re really stretching the term “expatriate”.

There are several apps that can make looking up the time easier for you, if you are a first time expat, but after a few months, you’ll glance at the clock and be able to tell which means you won’t need any apps to remind you.

 

  1. Jetlag Endurance

7 Skills You’ll Learn As An Expat - ExpatFinder BlogThis skill somehow connects to the earlier skill which is time zone management. Jetlag is something that most of us experience as expats. Whether it’s rushing to or from your home country and country of residence, or if it’s juggling your travel schedule from “home country-work country-other work country” Jetlag is part of the expat experience for at least once or twice a year.

As such, expats are great when it comes to beating or dealing with Jetlag. There many ways to fight it or deal with it, but if you have your own customized way of dealing with this, then you’ve been an expat a really long time. Most remedies include extra strong coffee for the “straight from the airport to work” scenarios. Some take a combo of a hot shower with a healthy meal. Some take a sleeping pill and dose off until their body clocks reset and some really just learn to suck it up and ignore it. Again, if you’re on the “suck it up and ignore it” level… you’ve been living abroad a long time.

 

 

  1. Currency Conversion Expert7 Skills You’ll Learn As An Expat - ExpatFinder Blog

Now this skill can work for you or against you. A lot has more to do with economics, to put it plainly. An expat knows if it’s better to buy certain items such as toiletries in their home country or in their country of residence. Price difference can range to just a few cents to really significant amounts. This is a skill that is quite useful. Then again, it can also be confusing if you get used to looking at a price and thinking in GBP even though it’s actually in USD.

This is a double standard skill, as most people living abroad know. You have to double check the prices and know if something is significantly cheaper or more expensive if converted to your home currency. Same as a clock, upon looking at a price tag, an expat can see two or more prices. People living abroad always have a high alert for conversion rates.

 

  1. Panic Packing

7 Skills You’ll Learn As An Expat - ExpatFinder Bloghttp://www.expatfinder.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Not-an-Expet-Packer-ExpatFinder-Blog.jpgAn expat knows how to pack in a hurry. There are only a few essentials in travel and someone who’s lived abroad long enough knows how to grab and pack the important stuff. Most expats (especially those who have more than one foreign office) or even those who like to travel regularly already have a special bag for travel handy. This bag contains the necessary documents needed for travel (passport, exit clearance and the likes) and the most basic items like one clean set of work clothing and one clean set of casual clothing including underwear and socks.

If you have been an expat for more than a year and still have some troubles packing, then maybe you should take some time to learn a few tricks to make your regular travelling easier.

 

 

  1. Tolerance and Flexibility7 Skills You’ll Learn As An Expat - ExpatFinder Blog

One of the first things that you will learn as soon as you step out of your home country is that it really is a different world out there. Even just moving to a different city already shows you a significant change in culture, but moving to a different country is really an eye opener for most people.

Living overseas gives you the opportunity to learn more about different culture by immersing yourself in a foreign community. That being said, it’s not always easy to tolerate and adapt to a totally different culture. Most expats learn how to respect and adapt to the cultural differences they have with their current country of residence. Adapting and tolerating to different cultural behaviour and practices doesn’t necessary mean that you are discarding your own beliefs and practices, it simply means that you value respect more than being obstinate.

 

  1. IM and Video Chat Master

7 Skills You’ll Learn As An Expat - ExpatFinder BlogThis is possibly the most important skill for an expat, because being an expert on virtual communication is our best way to connect with loved ones at home. Yes, expats know the best time to make Skype calls (preferably late in your local time for less web traffic) and an expat also knows the best type of IM app to use in specific situations.

An expat has more than 1 IM/Video chat app on his or her phone and tablet and mobile data is a must, just in case they need to call your family without phone charges. Expats know if the internet connection is good enough for a video conference, or if it’s just good enough for a voice call.

This is most likely the skill that is most commonly used by all expats and you can only acquire this skill from experience. Of course, techniques may vary in different countries, but one thing is for sure. All the expats in the world are IM and video chat masters whether they are aware of it or not.

 

 

Living Abroad, Expat Lifestyle, Useful Expat Skills, Travel Skills

5 Signs You’re On The Wrong Diet

 

5 Signs You’re On The Wrong Diet - ExpatFinder Blog

Going on a diet is a huge challenge, which is why selecting the right type of diet is the most important part of actually going on a diet. Some diets that work for your sister, your friend or your co-worker may not be as effective on you. There’s also an additional challenge to keeping and selecting diets when you’re living overseas. The best way to select a diet that works for you and your lifestyle is by consulting with a Nutritionist, but if this is not an option for you, there are still things that you can do to make things work.

 So here are some of the tell-tale signs that you’ve selected the wrong diet and what you can do to make it work for you.

 

  1. You feel tired all the time

5 Signs You’re On The Wrong Diet - ExpatFinder BlogThis usually happens with low protein diets. Most people try to go a full 180 from normal eating to completely vegan and that usually doesn’t work out well. Never underestimate the changes you make with the food you eat. You might think that cutting back on the carbs or protein won’t be that hard, but you’d be surprised of how a little goes a long way, so be careful when you say “How hard can it be?” which is typically when things start to go wrong.

So how do you avoid this? If you feel tired all the time, the diet you’re on is probably providing your body with less protein and energy than you actually need. Take some time to research the basic food groups and work out what is available in your current country of residence. Read the labels of the food you buy from the grocery stores so you would see the amount of nutrition that you are actually getting. Don’t go to the extremes, any diet that tells you to starve yourself is never a good diet.

 

  1. The bathroom is now your favourite room5 Signs You’re On The Wrong Diet - ExpatFinder Blog

Whether you’re constipated or too loose in bowel movements, either way, this is a sign that you’re on the wrong diet. Getting healthy should be the first priority of dieting and one of the best signs of good health comes in the form of your bowel movements. You don’t want to be in the extremes for this activity either. You have to monitor your bowel activity and if you are constipated, this is a sign that your diet is not very big on fibre. If you’re a little too loose in the bathroom, then this is a sign that your body isn’t really taking your diet well.

Remember, a healthy bowel movement is just 2 or 3 a day. Anything fewer or more than this says a lot about your eating habits. Again, what you can do to adjust this is to monitor what you eat better. Take some time to research the kind of nutrition you’re getting from the food you eat. Fibre is an important part of your health and you need to make sure that you’re getting just the right amount of it. Regulating your bowel can be as simple as eating either a banana if your bowel is too loose or an apple when you’re constipated.

 

  1. You don’t see results

5 Signs You’re On The Wrong Diet - ExpatFinder BlogLet’s face it, most people go on a diet to lose weight, the healthy portion just happens to come with the package, which is also why most people just cut through the work and take shortcuts with a few pills or some operation. For expats, these shortcuts won’t really be as readily available and you wouldn’t really want any kind of shortcuts that involves your health when you’re living in a foreign country, now do you? Your weighing scale should show you some improvements even after just a week of dieting. If you don’t see or feel any results, then this is a clear sign that this diet is just not meant for you.

Weigh yourself regularly and set a goal. If you feel like your skin still hangs on to your bed when you get up in the morning or if you have to actively convince yourself that you’ve lost some weight, then it’s time for you to re-think the diet that you’re on. It’s better to admit that the diet isn’t working for you earlier than waste all your time with something that is not giving you any significant results.

 

  1. You hardly exert an effort5 Signs You’re On The Wrong Diet - ExpatFinder Blog

We said earlier that a little goes a long way with dieting and that you shouldn’t go to extremes, but that also doesn’t mean that it should be super easy. If your new meal plan is a little too convenient, then it’s probably too good to be true.

You have to really be committed in getting healthy or losing weight for dieting to actually get you to your ideal body or health. This means that you actually need to exert some effort so that you can see significant changes. If your diet is simply “only drink soda once a week” then don’t be surprised if it never really does anything for you. Commit to an actual diet that you can follow. Take note that you have to select a diet that fits well or can be adjusted to the resources available in your current country of residence. This way, you will have fewer excuses to not follow it. Staying healthy has to be a commitment and you need to decide if you’re ready for it.

 

  1. You’re not encouraged to move or eat regularly

5 Signs You’re On The Wrong Diet - ExpatFinder BlogGood diets come with exercise, no matter how little. Movement is a key part of a healthy diet. You can’t see significant results without committing to healthy eating habits and healthy exercise. If your diet assures you that you do not have to move at all and you realize that the basic food groups are generally ignored, then there’s something wrong.

Losing weight without minding your health is a highway to disaster. You might start to find yourself getting sick a lot easier, your body a little weaker and things like this. You can make sure this doesn’t happen by arming yourself with the correct information about healthy diets. Nutrition is the key to finding the best diet that works for you. Read more about the diet that you are on, find out what types of food are readily available in the country you’re currently living in, and dedicate even just 30 minutes of your day to exercise. It doesn’t even have to be full cardio; it can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking to the next bus stop instead of the closest one to and from work. You have the power to turn your diet around at anytime. You just have to know what is working for you and what is not.

 

 

Healthy Living, Expat Lifestyle, Diets, Living Abroad

The Best Places In The World For Each Season

 

No one should ever be limited to the seasons available in your current country of residence. Nowadays, it can be pretty difficult to find the kind of weather that you want to experience for your vacations. The best thing that you can do is chase the best of winter, spring, summer and autumn. We give you the popular choices if you want to explore the famous places to visit and the not so famous choices, if you’re more into unique vacation destinations. Let us offer a few suggestions of marvelous places in the world where you can experience the best of each season.

 

Summer

The Best Places in the World For Each Seasons - ExpatFinder BlogPopular choice: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A country famous for beaches, parades and everything else that is stereotypically “summer”. Summer time in Brazil takes place December to April, perfect for people who live in the US and Europe and want to experience summer during their winter. You have a scenic view of the beach, the city and the mountains and you also have a wide choice of summer activities available, like parasailing, surfing, hand gliding etc. Walk on the beaches of Ipanema and experience summer at its best.

 

 

Less popular choice: Capri, ItalyThe Best Places in the World For Each Seasons - ExpatFinder Blog

A less popular, but more expensive choice for the best of summer is Capri, Italy. This island paradise offers scenic views, crystal clear ocean water, rich culture and secluded luxurious resorts and hotels. Summer in Capri is from June to September. If you want a scenic and less obvious choice for the summer, this is the best place for you.

 

 

 

Spring

The Best Places in the World For Each Seasons - ExpatFinder BlogPopular choice: Holland, The Netherlands

Colourful tulips in full bloom and a vintage windmill in the background. Holland transforms into a scenic painting everywhere you look during spring time. This place has daffodils, tulips and all the other splendid looking and fragrant flowers of spring. Spring in Holland is from April to May. There are only a few places in the world that can rival Holland as the best place for spring time.

 

 

Less popular choice: Osaka, JapanThe Best Places in the World For Each Seasons - ExpatFinder Blog

One of the very few places in the world that comes close to Holland for spring time is Osaka, Japan. Spring means one thing in Japan: Cherry Blossoms. This is one of the best times of year for Japan and all the locals look forward to “Hanami” or flower viewing. It is traditional in Japan to gather around cherry and plum trees with family and friends and admire the wonders of spring. Spring time in Japan lasts from the end of March till May.

 

 

 

Autumn

The Best Places in the World For Each Seasons - ExpatFinder BlogPopular choice: New York, USA

There’s a reason so many forms of film and literature talk about “Autumn in New York”. Between September and November every year, New York is at its finest painted orange by the falling leaves of trees in Central Park. Autumn is the best season to go and see New York City. Autumn has the perfect weather for walking locations to really enjoy the best things that the big apple has to offer.

 

 

Less popular choice:  Tuscany, ItalyThe Best Places in the World For Each Seasons - ExpatFinder Blog

Stay under the Tuscan sun for the months of September to November and see the sun-kissed region of Italy at its finest. Immerse yourself in culture and nature as you walk or bike around the many gardens, vineyards, hills and farms in this magnificent part of Italy, best enjoyed during the autumn season.

 

 

Winter

The Best Places in the World For Each Seasons - ExpatFinder BlogPopular choice: Bern, Switzerland

Bern is the best Switzerland has to offer during the winter. Bern, they say, is much better during winter than it is the rest of the year. Winter in Bern happens during the end of the year, December till February. Bern presents a classic Swiss winter, so you should give Bern a look for your winter vacation.

 

 

 

Less popular choice: Seoul, South KoreaThe Best Places in the World For Each Seasons - ExpatFinder Blog

Winter in Asia is almost a totally different experience than winter in Europe and the US. South Korea’s winter is from November till March and South Korea glows in white with their beautiful frozen lakes and snow covered castles. Take part in the city’s drinking culture and enjoy Korea’s unique spicy food to keep warm.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Places on Earth, Travel Abroad, Vacation Spots

The Expat Bucket List: Things To Do Before You Give Up The Expat Life

The Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder Blog

The Expat Life is a temporary state for most people. There are some who prefer to stay an expat for the rest of their lives, but for most, they know there’s only a limited timeline for the expat life before they return home whether it’s because of their own choice, or they are simply re-assigned back home for their jobs.

Either way, your life overseas should be something that you always remember. Heck, living overseas is actually a part of a lot of people’s dreams, so here’s a few things that we suggest you do to maximize your life as an expat. Live the expat dream and leave no regrets when you come home.

 

The Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder BlogTravel Cheap

Travelling cheap usually means backpacking. Try doing a short trip on a budget to the closest places around your current country of residence. Select the places that you don’t usually go for and go on an adventure on a budget. Travelling cheap allows you to get really close to the basic things in the places that you visit. The cheapest foods, accommodations and transportation also mean that you get to experience things that are way out of your comfort zone. If you know months in advance that you will be returning to your home country, try to go on a weekly weekend cheap trip as much as you can. This would also be a great bonding experience for the friends you’ve met as an expat.

 

Learn A New LanguageThe Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder Blog

As an expat, you may already know a few local words in the country where you live in, so why not take a full course before you leave? Language classes are always worth it when you realize that you can understand certain words that you constantly hear and finally be able to put them in context. You don’t have to be fluent, but being able to speak a sentence or carry out a simple conversation in a different language is a very good way to keep the culture and the experience close to your heart. It can be something that you can take with you wherever you go.

 

The Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder BlogGet A New Skill

Being an expat is a skill all on its own, but if you can have something to show for when you get back, it can be a great win for you too. Try to get a new skill while you’re living overseas, like painting, calligraphy or even something as simple as cooking with a wok. Maximize the cultural influence of the country where you live in and learn skills that you can’t really get anywhere else. Who knows, maybe this skill will be put to good use back home as well.

 

 

 

Be A TouristThe Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder Blog

Take time to remember what it’s like to be a tourist in this country. Sure, you’re almost a local now and you’ve seen everything over and over as a tour guide for your friends and family who comes in for a visit, but this time, try being a tourist all on your own. Get a map of all the most “touristy” destinations and try out all the touristy activities. Eat all the remaining local food you haven’t eaten (or wouldn’t eat) and take lots of tourist photos. You would be surprised of how jaded you have become when you’re living in the same place for a while. Being a tourist even for a day will open your eyes to the best things about your current country of residence and give you additional memories to cherish when you go back home.

 

 

The Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder BlogWalk Trip/Road Trip

After acting like a tourist, it’s good to see all corners of the country. Do a road trip or a walk trip. If you are an expat in the US, try a solitary road trip across the country. If you are an expat in Europe and Asia, do a walk trip to the cities you haven’t seen. If you are an expat in Africa or Australia, do a random road trip to the middle of nowhere. A road trip is not the same as a budget trip. A good solitary road trip is something that everyone needs to do at least once in their lives. It gives you some much needed time for yourself while you go out into an unfamiliar place. Rediscover who you are while discovering something new. What better time to do this than while you are living overseas?

 

 

 

Party HardThe Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder Blog

Gather your friends and party. You can do more than 1 going away party for all the group of friends that you’ve accumulated during your time as an expat. Make memories with these people and relive the good times you’ve shared with them over the years. Try joining a local festival and party like the locals. You can also do a house party, club party, street party or basically any kind of party you can think of. Celebrate your expat life and go out with a bang with all your friends in the country before you bow out as an expat.

 

 

The Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder BlogThe Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder BlogGo Big and Go Cheap

Take some time to try the most luxurious as well as the most dirt cheap things that your current country of residence can offer. Experience a day or a weekend of extremes, this way you will get to broaden your experience and probably try out things that you won’t get to try anywhere else. This is a good chance to get to know more things about your current country of residence that you’re not even aware of.

 

 

Enjoy The Little ThingsThe Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder Blog

Look back on your life as an expat not just in the current country you live in, but also in other places that you’ve been to before, either as an expat or as a tourist.  Take a look at your entire expat experience and remember the good and the bad. Sure, there will be little things that you take for granted,  but you know you’ll miss—like the weather and things you can’t  do when you return to your home country. Always enjoy the little things and remember that it’s these little moments that actually make your memories sweet.

 

The Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder Blog“Do As The Romans”

Since being an expat is being neither a local nor a tourist, we suggested that you be a tourist for the day, we also suggest you try being a local for the day. “When in Rome, do as the Romans” they say, so this is a good chance for you to try out absolutely everything local, even the things that you hate the most. This is a good chance for you to step out of your comfort zone, deepen your experience and relationship with your current country of residence and make good memories that you can take home with you.

 

 

 

Make Your MarkThe Expat Bucket List - ExpatFinder Blog

Do something that leaves a mark both for you and your current country of residence. It doesn’t have to be something as dramatic as a tattoo or anything of the sort, but this is a good chance for you to have a “I was here” moment. There are many things you can do to leave a mark in your country of residence. You can donate money or time to a local charity you feel strongly about. You can volunteer for causes or aid in any way that can help the locals and the country. This way, not only will you have good memories you can carry for the rest of your life, you will also leave a good memory for all the people that you’ve helped and know that somehow, even in little ways, you have touched the lives of others in a place that will forever be a part of your life.

 

 

Bucket List, Expat Lifestyle, Living Abroad, Make Memories

7 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Overseas

7 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Overseas - ExpatFinder BlogMaintaining a healthy lifestyle in itself is a challenge—but maintaining a healthy lifestyle overseas puts a few more hurdles in this challenge. However, it doesn’t mean that it’ll be a struggle.

Believe it or not, staying healthy is really more a state of mind than it is a physical challenge. While the expat lifestyle does create more bumps in your path to a healthy life, there are a lot of ways to work around this and maintain a healthy expat lifestyle no matter where you are in the world.

 

  1. Arm Yourself With Information

7 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Overseas - ExpatFinder BlogOnce you’ve committed to live a healthy life, you need to take some time to educate yourself about what this really means. Healthy doesn’t just mean “diet”. Be informed about the correct type of food, the right amount of exercise and an advisable standard of living. Don’t go with hear-say or stereotypes when it comes to your health. Pick up a few books that can give you legitimate information, or go on trusted websites that give genuine advice on staying healthy. You can also consult a nutritionist to advise you on proper food and lifestyle choices to set you on the right path to a healthy lifestyle that you can work around with even with a busy schedule.

 

 

  1. Exercise in Moderation7 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Overseas - ExpatFinder Blog

Most people go all the way whenever they decide to work out. Pushing yourself too hard when you’re just beginning is not good. You have to ease your way into your work out, take it little by little. Pushing your body too much upon the first stages of your work out will not only drain you physically, but would also discourage you from exercising again because of the pain you feel after your work out.

Exercise doesn’t have to be a full on gym workout either. When we say “exercise” it can be as simple as a short jog before or after work, or even a run up and down a flight of stairs. Remember, the important thing in any exercise is to raise your heart rate. If you plan to walk a short distance, try walking faster to get your heart going. In any plans of movement, try as much as you can to rev up your heart to make it an exercise.

 

  1. Go Back To Food Basics

http://www.expatfinder.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Basic-Food-ExpatFinder-Blog.jpgOne of the main challenges in staying healthy while living overseas is finding healthy food. Some countries make eating healthy really quite a struggle just for the lack of food options available. As an expat, we rarely have time to prepare food on our own so most of the time, we rely on what’s ready to eat and make do.

What you can do in this situation is to go back to basics. Surely, no matter where you are in the world, there are markets where you can buy the simplest ingredients, all you need to do is to simplify your menu. Another thing you need to remember is to never underestimate the power of water. Make sure you drink 8-10 glasses a day. Water aids digestion, increases your memory and concentration and also keeps your skin well nourished. Water is the most understated health drink in the world; make sure you don’t ignore its powers.

 

  1. Maintain A Good Sleeping Habit7 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Overseas - ExpatFinder Blog

The expat lifestyle gives very little room for sleep. We are always on the go and our body clocks are reset almost every time we travel. This is possibly the biggest challenge in staying healthy for an expat in this list. However, there are still a few things you can try to achieve this.

If your schedule allows you the advisable 8 hours of sleep a night, then do your best to maintain that. Try to keep yourself active so you won’t have some trouble sleeping. Do not sleep with the TV running and don’t start reading your favourite book before sleeping. Contrary to popular belief, these will not get you to sleep early. It will only keep your mind busy with thoughts to keep you up through the night. The best way is to plan a bedtime routine to get your body clock set to sleep at a certain time. Listen to classical music and have dim lighting to relax your mind and rest your body.

If you do not have a lot of time in your schedule, then do your best to have at least 6 hours of sleep. Follow a regular bedtime routine to ease your body into take some time to rest, and it can be as simple as your night time routine, like dressing for bed, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, etc. Avoid doing activities that keep your mind busy before going to sleep.  If you follow these tips, setting and re-setting your body clock anywhere in the world should be no problem.

 

  1. Keep A Healthy Home Environment

7 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Overseas - ExpatFinder BlogAn expat’s home away from home should be a sanctuary. A place where you can be comfortable, so that means if you plan to stay healthy, your home should also be a healthy environment. Do your best to spend time away from electronics. Cut off your time in front of the TV and the computer. Spend time with your friends and family. If you live with your children, engage in activities other than gathering around the television before, during or after dinner time. Play with them using real toys instead of tablet apps or computer games. You’d be surprised with how big a change you can make in your life just by putting your phone down for at least an hour every day.

Do a bit of home improvement by maximizing the ventilation that you are getting in your place. Whenever you’re at home, don’t rely solely on air conditioning, open your windows and breathe real air and enjoy natural sunlight. It will also help to keep some plants to improve the air quality in your home. Select low maintenance indoor plants that you can take care of even when you’re busy.

 

 

  1. Get Comfortable With Substitutes7 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Overseas - ExpatFinder Blog

Living overseas means some of the things you’re used to may not be as readily available as it is in your home country; that means you need to learn to make do with what you can have.

Do some research on food substitutes available in your current country of residence and plan your meals around this. You have to learn to be comfortable with substitutes not only for your food, but with your exercise as well. Since gym membership and time to actually go to the gym is quite a challenge for expats, you can make do with something as simple as doing your household chores. Keep your body active by keeping your home nice and tidy, doing some groceries, changing light bulbs etc. Anything that will keep you away from falling into the couch potato habit is good.

 

  1. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

7 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Overseas - ExpatFinder BlogAs we mentioned earlier, being healthy is not exclusively a physical endeavour. It has a lot to do with your mental health as well. Your body is affected greatly by your mind, so you also have to make an effort to keep your mind healthy. This can be as simple as staying away from things that bring you stress. If you think that stress in unavoidable for you, then make an effort to manage your stress. Make sure you take a break at least 20 minutes a day and divert your mind completely from things that stresses you out.

Smoking and drinking are not good stress relievers. Sure, they might be a good distraction from your problems for the moment, but they will lead you to more stress and unhealthy life in the long run. Maximize your free time, do what makes you happy and surround yourself with good people. A healthy lifestyle can be achieved by anyone, anywhere in the world. You just need the right information, and learn that it’s not really as difficult as you think it is.

 

 

Stay Healthy, Living Abroad, Healthy Lifestyle

 

5 Signs You’re Living in the Wrong Country

5 Signs You’re Living in the Wrong Country - ExpatFinder Blog

The place we live in influences and contribute a lot to our personalities, and shapes us to who we are as a person today. Believe it or not, places can bring out all sorts of moods within you that you didn’t know existed. Every city or country has its own personality and energy and with that, it also has the power to influence those who live in it.

As expats, we don’t always have the privilege to choose which country or city we’re being assigned to and sometimes even saying “no” is not an option, but how can you tell if your current place of residence isn’t quite the right fit for you? Or more so, what can you do about it? Here are 5 signs that you’re living in the wrong place and the best things you can do when you find yourself in this situation.

 

  1. You Have Something To Rant About Everyday

5 Signs You’re Living in the Wrong Country - ExpatFinder BlogWhen the cultural behaviour of locals, transportation or even something as general as the weather can tick you off and send you to an all out twitter/FB rant or even a full on verbal rant, you know there’s a problem. If you constantly find soemthing that annoys you so much you just have to rant about it to feel better, then this is one of the tell tale signs that you’re living in the wrong place. Stressing yourself out over the smallest things that you can easily ignore if you wanted, shows that you are very agitated in your current living condition.

What you can do when you’re faced with situations like this (if moving out of the country is not an option) is to find a way to relax. There are many yoga exercises or even simple breathing techniques that will help you manage your temper and stress. Also, you can try to look for ways to work around or address something that annoys you instead of just complaining about it.

 

  1. You Can’t Wait For Your Next Vacation5 Signs You’re Living in the Wrong Country - ExpatFinder Blog

If you’re too anxious to get away even on weekends, then that is one sure sign you just really don’t want to live there. Even as expats, your new residence should be a home away from home or an oasis which can take you away from your dull life back in your home country. If you are homesick to the point where you don’t really go out other than for work for more than a month then you might have to re-think not just the country you live in, but also your career as an expat. If you are always looking to get away that you fly, ride or row out of that country or city every chance you get even if it means going hungry for a week or two, then this is a definite sign that you shouldn’t be living there anymore.

What you can do if you are unable to leave permanently is to manage your trips very well. Going away frequently not only creates financial problems, but it can also take a toll on your body, health-wise.  Exhausting yourself every time off to get away from your country of residence is not a good thing, and if you get away too much you just end up dreading going back more. Instead of always going away, just try to stay in. Arrange a relaxing weekend in the comforts of your own pad where you can control mostly anything. Try watching TV shows or movies or have a party with your expat friends and unwind without having to go too far.

 

  1. You Don’t Eat Anything But Familiar Fast Food

5 Signs You’re Living in the Wrong Country - ExpatFinder BlogOne of the most important things in moving to a new place is the food. If you can’t even bring yourself to try the local food, then that’s also a good sign that you’re not a good fit for this country. Even famous fast food joints like McDonalds modify their menus to accommodate the local flavours so you might have a really hard time to adapt if you can’t stand the local taste. If you find yourself running to the nearest McDonalds or KFC every single meal, not only is that wasteful, it’s also very unhealthy.

If your favourite cuisine is not readily available in your current country of residence, there are several ways to make the things easier for you and not be dependent on familiar fast food joints. There’s always a market or grocery store where you can buy fresh ingredients and cook things for yourself, the way you want it. If you’re not much of a cook, then take some time to do some research online to see favourable local restaurants with good reviews and quality food that you might enjoy.

 

  1. You’re Always Dressed Uncomfortably5 Signs You’re Living in the Wrong Country - ExpatFinder Blog

If you find it hard to adapt your wardrobe to the weather conditions in your current country of residence, then this is also a sign that you shouldn’t be living there. Sure, boots, coats and scarves may be your signature style and they are very in fashion in your home country, but if you now live in a tropical country where the weather is either 33 degrees, or endless rain, then it’s really time to let go of those furry boots.

What you can do if you can’t leave your living situation is to force yourself to adapt. You don’t have to throw all your clothes away and buy new ones, you also don’t have to wear what all the locals are wearing if you’re not comfortable with their style, but the most important thing is to keep it simple. You don’t have to be something you’re not, but maybe just lose the coat and boots if it’s sunny. Don’t subscribe to magazines or follow blogs that show you winter and autumn clothes if your current country of residence doesn’t have these seasons. There’s always a way to work on your personal style to be comfortable in any weather, you just have to put in more effort.

 

  1. You Don’t Feel Like Yourself Anymore

5 Signs You’re Living in the Wrong Country - ExpatFinder BlogIf you or the people you’re closest to start to tell you that you don’t even sound like yourself anymore, that’s a big deal. If you realize that you’re agitated with everything, find yourself saying things you don’t normally say, or have to change your actions too much to adapt to your current living situation, then something has to be done.

If it gets to a point where a place changes you for the worst, then it might be time to seriously think about moving out. You never want to put yourself in a situation where you start to lose track of your own personality to adapt to your surroundings. At first, it’s normal to be out of place, but if time passed and you don’t like who you are becoming, then there’s no other choice but to move out.

 

Bear in mind, any place has the power to bring out the best and worst parts of yourself. You can always try to be more optimistic and positive about your living situation, but you have to keep in mind that the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the changes that you are making to adapt to your new life.

 

 

Expat Life, Expat Tips, Living Abroad

Expat Movies Vol. 2

 

“And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”  – Khalil Gibran

It is valentine’s week and as a continuation of our Expat Movies series, we have romantic expat love stories that most of us can relate to at least at some point in our expat life.

Whether you are far away from your loved one, still searching for the right one or just not into the whole V-day spirit, curling up with a good movie no matter where you are in the world is enough to make an evening out of it. After all, Valentines isn’t an occasion just for lovers, but for every kind of love we experience in our lives.

 

Expat Movies Vol. 2 - ExpatFinder BlogTo Rome With Love (2012)

A story of love in a foreign land, Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love” is told in four separate stories about of different kinds of love in Rome. The primary story narrates the life of an American expat architect living in Rome with his girlfriend and how he falls in love with his girlfriend’s visiting friend as he shows her around the beautiful ancient city of Rome. The film’s primary theme of confusion, neurosis, love and estrangement are Woody Allen’s favourites and the projection of Rome through these stories is just as captivating as the characters of the film.

 

 

 

Going The Distance (2010)Expat Movies Vol. 2 - ExpatFinder Blog

A film about long distance relationships and the sacrifices and compromises one makes in order to keep a relationship alive. This film stars Drew Barrymore and her then-fiancé, Justin Long. Inspired by their real life long distance relationship, it tells the story of two people who literally go the distance for the love of their lives.

 

 

 

 

Expat Movies Vol. 2 - ExpatFinder BlogBefore Series (1995/2004/2013)

The “Before Series” also known as 3 separate films, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, follows the love story of an American tourist and a French girl who met in a train to Vienna and subsequently fall in and out of love over the course of their lives. In Before Sunrise, we see them as young people starting to fall in love in a foreign place riding on a strong connection they feel almost immediately. In Before Sunset, we see them 9 years after they first met both at different parts of their lives and in Before Midnight we see them as an expat couple living in Paris with 2 young daughters. Later on, their relationship starts to unravel during their trip to Greece.

Here we see not just one part of falling in love, but the distance and the disintegration of love as well. We not only see these two characters grow as lovers, but also as people. We see their point of views and ideals change as they mature along the course of these three films. This lovely and well written series can be enjoyed by anyone, as we can all relate to at least one of the 3 stages of this couple’s journey in life.

 

 

Mamma Mia (2008)Expat Movies Vol. 2 - ExpatFinder Blog

The film version of the celebrated Broadway musical, Mamma Mia is set in the beautiful island of Greece and tells the story of the rediscovery of love and identity. An American girl raised in Greece by her mother without a father finds herself at a crossroad when she is about to marry. Upon realizing that there is no one to walk her down the aisle, the story sets off with her finding the great loves of her mother’s life and tries to figure out who of these 3 men is her real father. Narrated also in song through the music of ABBA, Mamma Mia is a romance and family film, but also, it is about finding your identity and accepting yourself even without knowing your origins. 

 

 

 

Expat Movies Vol. 2 - ExpatFinder BlogCairo Time (2009)

An unexpected love affair of two people, from different cultures in a beautiful foreign land; is that not the perfect romanticized expat love story? The film tells the story of a woman visiting her expat husband in Egypt and ended up getting stuck with a local friend and subsequently falls in love with him. Great love really comes when you least expect it.

 

 

 

 

The Ramen Girl (2008)Expat Movies Vol. 2 - ExpatFinder Blog

This tells the tale of an American Girl who found fulfilment, passion and love in Japan, all through a bowl of noodles. Abby (Brittany Murphy) travelled to Japan initially to be with her boyfriend but ends up being a Ramen apprentice and finds passion in mastering the art of making Ramen. This is a perfect story of how you can follow your dreams and love will still end up knocking on your doorstep no matter where you are in the world.

 

 

 

 

Expat Movies Vol. 2 - ExpatFinder BlogCasablanca (1942)

A classic film for Valentine’s Day, Casablanca is actually also an expat film. Set in Morocco during the time of World War II when Casablanca was Europe’s gateway (and also purgatory) to freedom away from the war to America. Rick, Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) is an American Expatriate who found himself face to face with the love of his life (Ingrid Bergman) after a long absence. A story about love lost, love rekindled and love that serves the greater good, Casablanca is one of the most celebrated films of all time.

 

 

 

Letters to Juliet (2010)Expat Movies Vol. 2 - ExpatFinder Blog

This is a film not only about finding love, but finding inspiration in life from love. The film tells the story of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) a young writer vacationing in Italy. There, she finds inspiration through a string of letters from lost lovers from 1957. She follows this love story and hopes to bring together two lost lovers. Along the way, she discovers that love is never really what you expect it to be.

 

 

Expat Movies, Valentine’s Day, Expat Lifestyle

Expat Movies Vol. 1

 

Previously, we featured songs that bring to mind the pursuit of happiness, and the romance that comes with living the expat lifestyle. Now that we are entering February, also known all over the world as the month of love, check out a couple of stories that can tickle your romance-loving hearts.

In this article, we give you a list of movies to see that you will definitely enjoy, with or without a partner this month.

 

The Expat Playlist Vol 3.- ExpatFinder BlogThe Other End of the Line (2008)

Not your typical rom-com. For starters, the two main characters don’t even meet in person until the last few minutes of the film. The tagline of the film is "Two countries. Two cultures. One chance at love." And it is projected beautifully in this film. This is the story of a man who fell in love with a call centre agent in India. Truly a “you and me against the world” type of story, but also includes that special something that expats can definitely relate to when it comes to intercultural relationships.

 

 

 

Lost in Translation (2003) The Expat Playlist Vol 3.- ExpatFinder Blog

Sofia Coppola’s academy award winning film starring Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray was derived from Sofia Coppola’s own experience as an expat in Japan. Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is the wife of a photographer assigned in Japan and is left on her own most of the time in their hotel room while her husband is working, while Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is an actor who is working on an advertising campaign for a local brand of whiskey. The two characters share the experience of being “lost in translation” in almost every sense of the phrase. This is a story about displacement, culture shock, loneliness and the sense of feeling alone in a foreign land all of which are the most basic things expats experience while living abroad.

 

 

 

The Expat Playlist Vol 3.- ExpatFinder BlogUnder the Tuscan Sun (2003)

A film about how it’s never too late to start over and live a full life, Under The Tuscan Sun tells the story of Frances (Diane Lane) who goes on a vacation to Italy and ends up staying for good and started to make a new life for herself away from all her troubles in America. This story is about new beginnings and how travelling and settling down in a different place or being exposed to different cultures can make you learn more about yourself. From tourist to resident, like expats out there who found a new fulfilling life abroad, this film is for you.

 

 

 

 

The Karate Kid (2010)The Expat Playlist Vol 3.- ExpatFinder Blog

The remake of the 1984 classic film not only features new characters, but also adapts the story in a modern situation. This is the best film to depict the life experiences of an expat child. Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) finds himself whisked away to China, when his mother accepted a job offer as an expat in Beijing. Completely alienated and unfamiliar with the country’s culture, Dre must now learn how to defend and express himself in a foreign land with the help of his unconventional kung fu master Mr Han (Jackie Chan) and his new love Mei Ying. Both a puppy love story and a coming of age film, the remake of The Karate Kid is sure to win the hearts of everyone in your expat family.

 

 

 

The Expat Playlist Vol 3.- ExpatFinder BlogLike Crazy (2011)

Long distance relationships, heart break and how far we are willing to go for our beloved. Like Crazy is a film is about a British exchange student who falls in love with an American student, and how they carry out their passionate and romantic transatlantic relationship. A lot of people (especially expats) who are in a long distance relationship can relate to this film and when it comes down to it, this is about the love and the sacrifices that we make for the ones we love.

 

 

 

Fear and Trembling (2003) The Expat Playlist Vol 3.- ExpatFinder Blog

This is a French film with the original title Stupeur et tremblement is based on a novel of the same title by Amélie Nothomb. The story is about a young Belgian woman who grew up as an expat child in Japan and decides to move back as an adult. The film depicts the disconnection when it comes to eastern and western culture and some of the more important issues in the expat lifestyle. The film delves more into the psyche of the expat experience more than most films that expats can relate to, which is why this film is so powerful and moving.

 

 

 

size-full wp-image-294 align leftSleepless in Seattle (1993)

One of the most iconic Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks collaboration film, this film is known as one of the most famous “chick flicks” of all time. The film tells a story about how a widower and a woman in an unfulfilling relationship find love despite never having to meet each other until the end of the film. If long-distance romance with a touch of love-conquers-all is your cup of tea is what you’re looking for, this is the film for you.

 

 

 

 

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)The Expat Playlist Vol 3.- ExpatFinder Blog

This film is a complicated love story that shows how living in a foreign land can clarify and confuse you at the same time.  While being exposed to different cultures and different people can be enlightening, another effect of this is called “disillusionment” and this is what we continuously see with the characters of this film as they dance around each other’s life interweaving and untangling at the same time in a way that only Woody Allen can lay out without making a mess. This film shows how life abroad can make you happy, fall in love, confuse you and drive you crazy but ultimately, shows you all the different sides of you as a person you didn’t even think were there.

 

 

 

Expat Movies, Expat Playlist, Living Abroad