21 Life Struggles All Expats Will Understand

What do you mean there’s no Chinese takeout?

1. It’s almost impossible to find your favorite comfort food easily.

Cartoon Network

2. So you might resort to eating questionable fast food to overcome your homesickness.

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3. Learning to date in a foreign culture can be a lesson in futility.

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4. If you don’t speak the language fluently, you’ll quickly develop a thick skin and a mastery of charades.

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5. Adjusting to different expectations of personal space can be a long and uncomfortable experience.

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6. The local drinking culture can be hard to adapt to, requiring many rounds to fully understand.

7. You might be unable to leave the country and visit family without being able to reenter, depending upon your type of visa.


8. And even if you could, roundtrip tickets to home always seem ridiculously expensive.

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9. Dealing with visa renewals and applications seems like a never-ending nightmare.

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10. And applying for, and receiving, a residence permit can seem like its own diplomatic mission.

11. Opening a bank account will likely require the logging of a mini-forest for the number of papers you’ll have to sign.

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12. You might end up being a local celebrity, which is only cool at first.

13. Remembering to bring along voltage adaptors for all your electronics is a major hassle.


What is this?!

14. And trying to find tech support for electronics you brought from home can be almost impossible.

15. If you do finally return home, everything seems different from how you remembered it.

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16. Keeping up with the pop culture of your home country is exceptionally difficult.

What’s happening?!

17. And viral crazes may suddenly pop up without any context.

18. Acting as an ‘official’ ambassador of your culture can be exhausting.

19. And not seeing family or friends for an extended period of time can sometimes feel isolating.


20. You don’t necessarily know what you should buy at the local grocery store…

21. And you definitely have no idea how to cook what you bought.

Do you… Do you boil this?

But despite all the difficulties, being an expat is worth it, because you know every day feels like an adventure.

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