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 Colombia:
I loved travelling around the country when I first moved here, and was blown away by the contrast between what people's perceptions are of Colombia and the reality.
Culture shock did not hit me as hard as some other expats. I had done my homework, visited other countries and had an idea of what to expect. My wife not only explained much to me, but also helped smooth over the differences I encountered. But culture differences did enter into my life and relationship. Things move slower in Colombia.
It is always eye opening to see all of the comfort that many people take for granted living in North America. And it’s nice to see all of the great connections that I sometimes lacked living back home. I think the key is to always be aware that you haven’t seen it all, there’s always something new to learn.
After 16 years overseas and in Latin America I can say that I do suffer from time to time from culture shock. It’s the little things, difficulties in internet banking, queues and time keeping. But, now I hardly ever return to the UK I suppose I suffer more from reverse culture shock when I am in London!
I knew if people around the world could have a glimpse of what I was experiencing on the ground in Medellín, their stereotypical views about the city would begin to change.
By moving to Colombia, I fulfilled a lifelong dream, my husband connected with family he had never met, and our son now has strong ties to his Colombian heritage.
I have no regrets about my decision or the way I did the move. I would say, though, that if a person has never lived outside of their country before, one of the most important things they should realize is that yes, it will be hard. And yes, it will be worth it.
Moving away from London, my friends and my family was a big change for me, and Bogotá, apart from being a big city, is different from London in many ways. The language, the food, the music, the sky, the streets, the cost of living were all different; some things for better, some for worse. It took me a long time to adapt to my new life in Bogotá and to start to feel settled.
Make sure to travel the country. It has such an amazing diversity in nature and culture from La Guajira in the north to the Amazon in the south and anywhere in between.
After traveling the world for over 6 years I can say that Medellin is the best place to live year round right now.
On a personal level, I knew my life would be different in Bogotá but I don’t think I was prepared for how my identity would change or at how difficult it would be to learn Spanish.