1. German Expat - 11 1/2 Signs This Could be You - Grounded Traveler
    September 22, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    […] stuff you grew up with at home no longer makes much sense. Travelers may understand your stories of coping in a foreign culture better than your friends at home that never […]

  2. First 7 Questions When Talking To An Expat - Grounded Traveler
    June 5, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    […] as an expat can be overwhelming. Especially if you are trying to deal with another language on top of another culture. Finding […]

  3. Quacks like a duck, but looks like a cat. » Grounded Traveler
    May 22, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    […] the expat life that we have decided to pursue as well as an explanation of why cultures is so overwhelming […]

  4. No Nomad Here » Grounded Traveler
    May 8, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    […] to stop thinking either. I am constantly in motion mentally. It is one of the reasons that things overwhelm me. The mind overheats and spins too fast. I seek out quiet to let that spinning take in […]

  5. Gev
    March 15, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    I can relate to this for when I lived in Melbourne for a while, but I was so lucky that I ended up with so great friends and I think it was luck and the odd contact I had. I hope I can replicate this now I have just moved to Newcastle in the UK, not that it’s foreign, but it kinda is for me!

    • Andrew
      March 16, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

      This is great thing about the tips as they help for a lot of different overwhelming move situations. Not just foreign.

  6. Laurel
    March 5, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

    Great suggestions. My sanctuary is Hubendugel, a large bookstore with seating. I’ve always loved bookstores and finding one with English books gives me a sense of normalcy. I also love getaways, you don’t have to go far to feel refreshed.

    • Andrew
      March 6, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

      Awesome. That is great that you found a bookstore, and such a cool name as well. There are one or two in Freiburg, but they aren’t open late enough to be helpful for sanctuary purposes. BnN was open to midnight at home.

  7. Nancie
    March 5, 2012 @ 5:18 am

    Great suggestions. I’m into my 12th year as an expat and things can still get overwhelming at times. Having a hobby certainly helps gain some normalcy in an often far from normal life style.

    • Andrew
      March 6, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

      Thanks. Wow 12 years. What kind of hobbies do you like?

      • Nancie
        March 10, 2012 @ 2:13 am

        Andrew…Combining photography and travel is what I love. I’m lucky enough to have long vacations, so I get see a lot. It’s easy to get anywhere from Korea. Food is another hobby. I’ve learned to cook Korean, and everywhere I travel I try to do a cooking lesson. Traveling in Korea on the weekends is also high on my list. The city I live in has a great symphony orchestra and tickets are very affordable, so I go whenever I can. I was there last night, and the performance was wonderful.

        • Andrew
          March 10, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

          It sound like you have a pretty good setup there. Food and cooking is a good hobby. Everyone seems to like to eat and it is usually something that can transcend any language barrier in a way that a book club cannot.

  8. Ariana {And Here We Are}
    March 3, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

    Great post! These issues have been on my mind lately, too. I especially like your suggestion of finding a place to hang out a lot. We had a cafe down the street, and although it was intimidating at first, I started going there several times a week, and it felt SO good to be a familiar face there. There is something really comforting about someone just knowing your order without having to ask! I still miss that place, because it represented so much of my experience in Germany– we started meeting people there, it was a good place for all three of us to hang out on the weekends, and of course I felt comfortable there on my own.

    • Andrew
      March 4, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

      I am definitely an introvert and need my engaged isolation sometimes. Cafe’s are great because you can feel as involved or detached as you need. Have you looked for a local cafe in England yet?

  9. Andrea
    March 3, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

    These are all great tips! Baby steps are really important when you are getting used to a new country.

    • Andrew
      March 4, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

      Thanks. Indeed, baby steps. You guys get to try that in Norway soon, right?

  10. Christy @ Technosyncratic
    March 3, 2012 @ 7:16 am

    We’ve discovered that if we stay anywhere long enough, it starts to feel like “home”. We develop routines and rituals, we do our favorite things and work, and we get to know our neighborhoods. Granted, we’ve become expats in “easy” places like Europe and Thailand, but we’ve been surprised by how (relatively) painless it becomes after a few weeks. We haven’t done anything long-term, like a year, but I’d be interested to see if I’d feel differently.

    • Andrew
      March 4, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

      Yeah, the first year is definitely different than after that. After a point, it becomes less exotic and more routine. The little annoyances come out. I still like living here, but it is far more “just like life” than I had expected at the outset. Would be interested if you guys ever plan to stay for longer in a place.

  11. Sabrina
    March 2, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

    Very true! Being an expat is fun and exciting, but it’s also stressfull and tiring at times. I have found that the first few months I am more in a vacation state and find it fun, then reality sets in and I realize how everything is soooo different, and thenI have to kick myself in the behind and get our, meet people, and start making it home. I haven’t had to do that in a while, but I do remember… great tips!

  12. Katherina
    March 2, 2012 @ 1:46 am

    I think finding a hobby really helps a lot. I got into photography and skating when living in Switzerland… and now into running and climbing in London. Not only does it distract your mind… but it often helps you to meet new people too!!

    • Andrew
      March 2, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

      Thanks for commenting. The hobby thing can be hard, especially if there is a language barrier. But in the end if you pick something that you enjoy, it gives more incentive to learn language around it.

      I love that you pick such active things. I am more the sedate person, but I know the physical exercise helps too.

  13. Heather
    March 2, 2012 @ 12:30 am

    Spot on…even though a move is going to be exciting, there are all of the transitional issues to content with too, and you have to be kind to yourself! Gonna share this with someone who needs to read it 🙂

  14. Lily
    March 1, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! Finding a hobby was a really important part to feeling settled in (yoga!)… a great way to meet people with similar interests.

    • Andrew
      March 1, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

      You are welcome. Thanks for commenting. I did yoga briefly too. I guess I didn’t get into it enough to meet people, but it was nice to have some physical activity.

  15. Ali
    March 1, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    Great advice, which I will try to follow 🙂

    • Andrew
      March 1, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

      Thanks, my love.

  16. Kent @ NVR
    March 1, 2012 @ 2:34 am

    Great tips, Andrew! Passing this along to a friend who is moving out of the country for 3 years.

    Also, I think PATIENCE is a great idea for any traveler 🙂

    • Andrew
      March 1, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

      Traveler and expat both can work with patience. Glad you liked it and hope it helps your friend too.