As we step into the New Year, those New Year resolutions that we so zealously planned are staring us right in the face. While most of us try to welcome the New Year by making new beginnings — be it getting rid of an old habit, making a big changes at work or in life; an expat’s New Year resolutions are a far cry from these life-altering decisions that plan to make.
The fact is that relocating to another country is a huge life shift in itself, hence, the New year resolutions of an expat can be to take challenges of daily life head on — it could be anything from relearning traffic/driving rules to coming to terms with a culture that’s completely opposite of what one has grown up knowing.
So if you’re living or working abroad this 2018, we have rounded up a list of New Year resolutions only an expat can understand. Here you go:
- Learn The Local Language
First things first. We don’t really need to stress on the importance of learning the native language of the country you are in. As annoying as you may find it, it is the first step for you to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings and the people around you. Though kids are much better at these kind of things, don’t let that weaken your resolve. On the plus side, learning a new language is a great way to keep your brain active, and you won’t have to hold yourself back from joining a conversation.
Having said that, we all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day! So, no one is expecting you to learn it all in a blink of an eye. Begin with learning the basics such as greetings, knowing the verbs and other commonly asked questions. It won’t come easy, but don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Remember, you are not the first foreigner to have made a mess of the language — the locals might be more forgiving than you imagine.
2. Explore The City & Its Culture
We know you are there to study,work and make a mark for yourself; but you don’t want to be the expat who lives in London and hasn’t been to Big Ben. You might have plans to stay in the new country for a couple of years, and it might seem that you have all the time in the world to visit the landmarks, but now is a good time as any. Break the monotony of routine life by visiting a museum, taking a tour of the city or exploring the market area, etc. No better way to make yourself at home than breathing in the culture and the flavours of the city.
3. Try Out Local Cuisines
Well, this might require some guts (quite literally), but hey, this might also be your chance to try out all those bizarre local delicacies you watched people gobble up at these food shows. Right? This New Year, be a braveheart and try out the local cuisine. Be it offal, raw meat, blood sausages or unidentifiable fried objects, make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Try out a new cafe or restaurant that serves local delicacies at pocket-friendly prices.
4. Call Your Family More
Being away from home sure takes a toll on you, but always remember that it’s much harder on your near and dear ones back home. While you are busy exploring the new city or meeting deadlines at work, your family might be desperate to hear your voice. We know that visiting home often may not be an option due to the cost and time involved, there’s nothing to stop you from speaking over the phone or video calling your family. No matter how busy you are, make sure that you don’t forget to stay in touch with your family and keep them posted about your activities. And no, Facebook status messages don’t cut it. By keeping in touch, we mean calling up your family and friends every once in a while to keep each other updated about the happenings in your lives.
5. Work-Life Balance
This one is an universal goal everyone is trying to achieve. But it’s all the more important for expats who are chasing the big dream in a foreign country. Working hard and doing well is important as a lot is at stake, but it’s also essential to not let it consume you completely. Work hard, but do let yourself reach the burnout stage. Step away from work and occupy your mind with other activities whenever you feel like you are reaching the breaking point.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Make sure you keep yourself occupied with some hobbies. Look up the internet and find out about classes or groups that share your interests. Cooking, baking, music, Salsa, blogging, or language exchange — it’s not tough to find something you like. This New Year, go out and find something that keeps you refreshed and energised.
7. Stay Fit
Hectic work life and the sadness of being away from home can easily drive you to seek refuge in junk food. This New Year, sit up and take notice of what you put into your body. Don’t worry, we won’t keep you from all the sinful, but delicious stuff that the holiday season brings along. Make sure you keep yourself motivated to hit the gym or go running to burn off those calories you piled up during the Holiday season. You can even download health apps that to keep you motivated to get moving and track your progress.
8. Save More
Living and working abroad can make savings a distant dream. Be it home rent, food, travel expenses or remittance charges, you are losing money faster than you make it. One of the best ways to tackle the issue would be to move to a less expensive area and share your accommodation with others. Now, that leaves you to deal with remittance charges every time you send money home.
Banks and FX brokers go all out promising “commission free” overseas money transfers, but little do you realise that their rates already contain hidden margins and fees. Add to this the bank charges, and you’ve lost a good deal of your money even before it reaches its destination.
Here’s where InstaReM.com comes to your rescue. We believe in being transparent with our clients. On InstaReM, you get the same exchange rates as Google or Reuters, with no hidden fees or sneaky charges. We charge a nominal fee for our services. With InstaReM, you can send money to over 60 countries around the world. This New Year, break free from the clutches of banks and FX brokers, and Sign Up with InstaReM. Take a look at our exchange rates right here and save more on international money transfers.