Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Brazil:
Naturally I have experienced a fair bit of culture shock (especially as I came here from Japan!), but one thing I find just as interesting is the reverse culture shock I experience when returning home! For the first week or so of being back, I had to stop myself from hugging and kissing everyone I came into contact with!
When I came to Brazil I had no idea what it would be like so I was very open to everything. I was also very young (just turned 16) so it was like an adventure. I don´t think it´s a good idea to prepare as Brazil is never what you expect so no, I was not fully prepared but I would not change anything. I am glad I was open to the new experience and consequently adapted fairly quickly.
If we had had the time, it would have been great to make an earlier trip to check out houses and apartments beforehand. Living in a hotel in Resende is super-stressful. I knew pretty much what I was getting into…I had forgotten how loud people and cars are, and how dusty everything gets, how poor people can be, and how some things just don’t matter as much as we think they do. I would have brought less luggage, less winter clothes, and more of the familiar things I like to cook with, like spices.
I came to Brazil with no savings, no knowledge of the language, no friends, no job and no nothing. I was completely unprepared and kind of completely irresponsible but would I do anything different? No way. I have learnt so much. I have grown as a person so much and my life is a different one to the one I left behind a year ago. I am who I am today because of the lack of decisions and planning I made before I came and for me that has been the best way to learn and live here.
I knew that we’d have to learn new procedures, new systems, new rules and a new language, and that was energizing. But even with all the information available these days on the Internet, there’s really no preparing for the bureaucratic side of setting up legal residence in another country.
Nothing can fully prepare you for actually living, rather than taking holidays, in a foreign country. The things that everyone takes so much for granted are grounded deep within our culture. If I had to move over again I would have left more behind!