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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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


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

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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?!

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

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

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

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

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

Do you… Do you boil this?

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

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