If I could give you one gold nugget of information, one key tip about moving abroad, it would be don’t be afraid to ask.
I know we all say it to our kids, there’s no such thing as a silly question, but it is true for ourselves as well. Everyone you meet (generally speaking) is in the same situation as you. Even if they’ve been abroad for a long time, they too made their first move as some point. Even if they are ‘locals’, undoubtedly they have lived abroad at some stage too.
Ask! Ask all those silly questions! Ask the questions that you think might be too personal! Ask how they did it! Just ask!
I have learned over the years, that the people I meet in a new location very quickly become my ‘other’ family. And it’s through asking questions, getting to the nitty gritty of life that this happens. Whether you know the person well, or it’s your first encounter with them, just ask.
Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, you may go red in the face like I do. And yes, you may not like the answer you receive. But the important thing is that you put yourself out there and ask!
Try it with the next person you see, whether you are in the supermarket, at the school gate, or out walking. I am sure you will feel a sense of reward and maybe even the start of one of those amazing friendships that are so unique to expat life.
Let me know how you go, how did it feel? What did you learn?