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 the Dominican Republic:
The culture shock I experienced was all positive. The lack of rules and regulations, whilst sometimes dangerous, was very liberating. Dancing in the streets and the supermarket, riding on scooters with no helmets, riding in the back of trucks. I was, however, amazed at the level of poverty and had no idea how large the country was.
LEARN THE LANGUAGE! It is probably one of the most frustrating things to not be able to communicate as well as you would like. It is worth the hard studying and effort before your trip, make time for it. Also, when you hear people say that you need to get accustomed to the Island Feel, it’s not a joke. You can be sure that 90% of the time, things are not going to go according to plan. You have to go with the flow.
Don’t expect to have the same lifestyle here as you do in the states. If you need luxury, make sure you have the money for it. A big SUV will run you dry – gas is super expensive. Furniture is expensive. A fancy lifestyle is super expensive.
What differs from the United States is that people are happier with far, far less. We Americans complain a lot, demand a lot and even when we get it are still not happy. We don’t realize, until we leave the United States for an extended period of time and stay in a Third World country like the Dominican Republic that we have as much as we do.
I moved to DR from Pennsylvania USA. The closest town was Mars (yes, I am from Mars), about 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. I came to the Dominican Republic in 2008 for an all-inclusive vacation with friends. We had no idea even where the Dominican Republic was but it was very inexpensive.
I don’t think I was fully prepared but I don’t think there was much I could have changed or prepared more for. At the end of the day, we had just moved to a new country AND were having a baby. There is no preparation. Not really.