What You Need if You Want to be an Expat – Part 3


At a minimum, the following fifteen assets and attributes are essential for a successful and rewarding experience abroad: a college education, adequate finances, good physical health, courage, adaptability, perseverance, resourcefulness, congeniality, independence, an adventurous palate, a love of travel, a code of integrity, a willingness to compromise, a sense of humor and a genuine desire to live life to its fullest. Each attribute plays a crucial role in your ability to thrive and succeed in unfamiliar and challenging surroundings.

Here are the last 5 of the 15 assets attributes.

A Love of Travel

When you become an expat in a foreign country, chances are you’re going to have to fly to your destination on a commercial airline. And unless you’ve chosen a major international city, you’ll probably have to take some kind of secondary transportation to get where you’re going, such as a smaller domestic airline, a transit train, a shuttle, a ferry, a bus, or a private car. The trip may take more than a day to go from your home to your destination. It may require extensive layovers and involve transit lines that do not intersect. So you may have to be prepared to arrive jet lagged and exhausted.

And depending on where you choose to live, once you’ve settled into your new surroundings, any recreational trips you take to local destinations may require travel on aging vehicles that may be less than punctual, routinely overcrowded, and some may even allow domestic animals to ride in the passenger area.


One of the most important characteristics of living abroad is integrity. Qualities such as a strong work ethic, pride in workmanship, and team effort are imperative. And on a personal level, in everyday life, honor and integrity are the gold standard. Therefore, it is recommended that you conduct yourself with the highest code of behavior and ethics at all times. It will serve you well and keep you out of trouble.

Willingness to Compromise 

While you’re planning your move, it’s easy to dream in Technicolor: the perfect job, the perfect apartment, the perfect experience. Yet, no matter how carefully you plan and prepare, there will always be those elements that don’t meet your expectations. Early on, before you’ve assimilated the culture and explored the opportunities that await you there, it may be tempting to hold on to that unwavering paragon. However, if you are lucky enough to be offered a pleasant job that meets your basic living expenses with a little disposable income left over for fun, by all means, take it. If you find an affordable apartment that feels homey and livable, go for it. Remember, once you’re settled and employed, you can always trade up.

A Sense of Humor

Despite its sophistication and refinement, or its pastoral beauty and rustic charm, any culture can also be exhausting, bewildering, infuriating, overwhelming, and downright absurd at times. And when the travails and tribulations of your day frazzle your last nerve, sometimes the only antidote is a sense of humor. So, if you didn’t travel with a companion, find yourself a buddy to swap stories with and have a laugh at day’s end. It will help to put the whole crazy circus into perspective, and will provide an outlet for your frustrations, as well as a high-five for your triumphs. English-speaking expats are everywhere, and most are more than happy to meet up with a kindred spirit. In the beginning, or anytime thereafter for that matter, don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation on the train, in a pub, a shop, or even on the street. You have nothing to lose, and may gain a mentor and compatriot for the effort.

A Desire to Live Life to Its Fullest. Living abroad can be one of the most personally enlightening and enriching experiences that life has to offer. But to thrive in a new and unfamiliar culture, and to get the full benefit from the time you spend there, you must have a broad sense of perspective and an unconditional willingness to let go of your expectations and immerse yourself in the experience. Live the lifestyle, eat the food, get to know the people, their history, their language and their culture. Make friends, make money, and yes, make mistakes. But whatever you do, make the most of it!

Settle Comfortably in a New Country

At Asia Expat Guides, we understand that relocating to a whole new country is very challenging. You might feel very overwhelmed as there are tons of other things you need to prepare prior to your relocation. That’s why we are here to help you in your relocation and ensure a smooth transition from your home country to host country. We provide FREE consultation service for many aspects of your relocation, including advices on expat accommodation, education for your expat kids, expat visa, banking and insurance, pet relocation, and so on. We also provide expat guides service so you can get familiarized with your new city as soon as you land.

Just get in touch with us and we will be happy to answer your queries!


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