As a professional expat by now, I can definitely say that you develop some habits after a while, especially when meeting new people. Some of those tips might not apply to you, if you come from a developed country everyone knows about, but hey, I’ve been even told my country doesn’t exist, so it’s not my case. what’s wrong with you geography?

  1. Explaining where your country is
    Exactly after introducing myself, and saying, hey, I’m Daniela/ Dani, I’m getting asked where I am from, and here is when the awkward moment starts, because saying “Moldova” doesn’t really help if your interlocutor is not from CSI or neighboring countries, then you’ll have to explain where it really is, because trust me, they don’t know.  So here goes all those things like, “Between Romania and Ukraine”, or “Eastern Europe”, or “Close to Russia”, etc.
    After a while you just say it all together, like: “Hi, I’m Daniela, from Moldova, it’s a country between Romania and Ukraine” because habits and Pavlov.
  2. Explaining again where your country is
    Yes, this also happens often. Once it even happened that the girl I was talking to didn’t know about Ukraine and Romania (well, she thought Europe is a big country), so there I was the creative one, I went into symbols and metaphors, because, “Dracula” and “War with Russia”, and it worked. Though, sometimes people don’t believe me, but it’s another story.
  3. Free PR for everyone
    After a while of living abroad, you start being the number 1 ambassador of your country, because who else if not you, will make your country famous and great?
    And yes, you start learning, all these amazing facts and tricks about your homeland, that you definitely didn’t know previously.
  4. Being happy because of the small things
    It’s something really cute when you feel happy to just hear someone speaking in your language, or someone who’ve been to your country. Even if you are not a big patriot, those things become much more valuable while living abroad permanently.
  5. Becoming more patriotic
    Even if you are not into sports of fancy music, you’ll still watch Eurovision and UEFA when your country’s team plays, because you know, who else will support them if not you? And when they fail, well, you try to excuse them in any possible way. While living abroad I’ve watched the biggest number of football matches and even Olympic games, and even if I was not too much into the sport, I was still rooting for my compatriots.

That’s my top 5 habits that I’ve developed during my life as an expat (and it’s a total of 5 years now), what I missed, what did you feel like changed when you moved abroad?

 

 

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