Today I wanted to share with you 5 important life lessons of living the expat life. But first, I have to tell you my background story for you to understand my situation.
On the year 2014, my friend/achi Christine told me she studied college in a university in Taiwan. She told me that the school was nice and they offer scholarship and a monthly allowance to foreigners and the school wouldn’t require you to work for them afterward (she was trying her best to convince me to go). So, I took the bait and told my parents about it and they said it would be a great opportunity for me thus I should go for it. I have processed my papers and documents which are the hardest and most troublesome part of this application. So, I immediately applied for my grad school without even knowing if I am going to graduate college haha! The day I got accepted was the day before my college graduation ceremony, imagine the timing! The happiness I felt at that time was indescribable! But I am also sad because I only have 3 months left to spend time with my loved ones. Then September came, the fall semester starts. This is the start of my expat life!
Now that it’s 2017 and I am here living the expat life in Taiwan for almost 2 years, I have learned a lot about life. Let me share with you 5 important life lessons I have learned:
- You have to know how to handle your expenses. Even though I have my monthly allowance provided by the school, I still find myself going short on some weeks. When you become short, you don’t have so many people to rely on. Of course, your family is only a call away but what if you need it immediately? This is why you have to know how to save for a rainy day.
- Google Maps is your new best friend. If you’re going somewhere and you’re lost, the best way to know which direction you should go to is Google Maps. When you’re living in a foreign country, it makes it harder for you to communicate. Even though you can try to communicate but most of the times, they won’t understand you. I am not saying you should not try to learn the language but if you don’t have any choice, it would be best to consult Google himself!
- Take care of thyself! When you’re alone in a foreign country, the last thing you would want to happen to you is to get sick. In my two years of stay in Taiwan, I can honestly say I got sick only once excluding dysmenorrhea of course! But dysmenorrhea is hard as hell! Every time I feel discomfort, I wish my mom was there which leads me to my next point.
- You will miss your loved ones so much. The first time I moved to Taiwan, I cried a lot. I cried when my dad came to visit me. I cried when I need to go back to Taiwan after my winter break. You will be crying a lot and you’re going to miss your family so much because of the loneliness that creeps in at the most random times of the day. But this would only be hard at first, it’s only a phase! Yay! As time goes by, you would eventually get used to it. So, for all of you who are still living with your family, you have to cherish them, love them and show them that you care.
- PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. Even though you feel alone, you know your Father in Heaven is always by your side. He will be your Great Shepherd in times of need! I have been so grateful for Him for just guiding me throughout the tough times. His words are ever so comforting. I always feel blessed to have known Him as my Lord and Savior. 🙂