Some differences Between a Long-term Traveler and an Expat
Traveling is an amazing experience in spite of being very unpredictable. The excitement of a foreign trip and the adrenaline rush can make you vulnerable to various challenges and problems too. However, the benefits of traveling abroad usually overshadow the disadvantages for most travelers or expats. The decision to move and settle in a new place is much harder than being on a short or long vacation. As an expat, you are bound to take various steps to ensure that your new home offers a pleasant stay. All the planning and hard work before you settle abroad will not go in vain if you end up falling in love with your new abode. The question is, are you an expat or a long term traveler?
There are major differences between long-term traveling and expatriate life. Long term travel could be defined as someone who is traveling for 6 to 12 months and will maintain their ties back home. An expat is most likely someone who is moving abroad for more than a year and is severing their ties and changing their domicile to a different country abroad.
Here are some important points to consider if you are planning for long-term travel or becoming an expatriate:
1. You will have to make Sacrifices
Moving abroad as an expat means that you are leaving behind the comforts of your cozy home, family, friends and even a stable career. If you are pursuing higher education overseas, you may have to take some non-traditional or part-time jobs. This may put your long-term career plans on hold for some time.
All these sacrifices will ultimately bring you rich dividends. You will be mentally stronger, confident, optimistic, and focused to face all the hurdles in life with full gusto. If you ever return home, you may find that many things haven’t changed much. Relationships with friends and neighbors may dwindle a bit though. You will realize that all the risks and sacrifices are worth it.
2. You Can Explore the Destination Thoroughly
Traveling for a long trip can give you a hint of expat life – kind of like a trailer for a movie. Living abroad is like a whole movie. As a long-term traveler, you will be choosing the “Best Things to Do” in a particular place, but as an expat, you can enjoy it all. You will have ample time to explore the sights and sounds of a destination that you call your second home. You can also indulge in the festivals, nightlife, and local gastronomical delights as you continue living as an expat. You can also learn the local language, culture and make local friends.
3. You will Meet Fellow Expats and Make Local Friends
Travelers or tourists usually don’t get much time to make many local friends when they visit a city. Expats, on the other hand, have to make friends in the neighborhood and meet fellow expats to have a convenient lifestyle. You will be meeting numerous local folks in the college or workplace with whom you can while away your free time and evenings. Abroad, you will have to be open-minded to interact with unknown faces who may turn out to be good friends later. This willingness to meet unknown people will also help you in building new relationships. Your social media platforms such as Facebook will help you keep in touch with loved ones back home during travel and expat life.
4. You will Learn to Live Alone
It can take a long time to build a strong and reliable relationship when you are in a different country. Work-life schedule or routine between you and your new pals may differ, which means that you may have to spend a lot of time on your own. This will eventually help you learn to live alone and create your own wonderful world. Positively embrace those solitary moments because they will help you know yourself better.
5. You Will Feel Great When You Overcome Challenges
Avid travelers are usually not so bothered by challenges that expats face daily. Challenges in a distant location can make you feel homesick. At times, you may even feel like leaving everything and returning home. However, if you face all the challenges with a strong will, you will be the eventual winner and you will feel great too. The very thought that you are not invincible will make you feel empowered to work hard and accomplish a lot in life.
6. Enjoying Expat Life
Expat life is much more than just adjusting to a new lifestyle. It is more about accepting and delving into a culture that is completely new for you. Once you have lived in your chosen destination for a couple of years, you will gradually realize that you have learned a lot to live life to the fullest. You will also value people close to you back home as well as those who have become good friends abroad.
Don’t Forget to Obtain Medical Insurance – For Travelers or Expats!
If you are traveling abroad, it is critical that you obtain travel insurance to cover your emergency medical expenses. For people who are moving abroad to become an expat, most will obtain international health insurance coverage. If you are becoming an expat, you will most likely not be covered by your healthcare back home or you may even lose your coverage. Domestic health plans probably won’t be able to process and deal with international medical claims either. The local health coverage in your destination country may not cover you because you are an expat or may be very limited, especially in a developing country. If you are becoming an expat, you will also need to think about contents insurance in your home country.