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Finding a Home Away from Home

My train arrived in Bordeaux, a city I had never visited before. I was carrying my luggage brought with me from Lebanon, filled with food that my mother prepared for me. I did not have a place to stay. I had booked a hotel room for a week hoping it would be enough time to find a more suitable place. My university was going to start in a few days. All I could think about was: Am I going to enjoy it here? Life is an adventure so let's find out!

The first days were not easy, walking through unknown streets, having no one to talk to. I called my parents every day and this was the only conversations I had for many days.

One day, two weeks after my arrival, I was walking through the city all by myself. I saw a huge endless street filled with people, shops, cafés, bars ... I still remember that feeling. It was only then that I realized that there is life in this city. I was looking at the people shopping, having a coffee, or just wandering around. It was so lively. This is when I began my search and found a great InterNations Community in addition to many language exchanges and foreign meeting groups.

I’ll never forget that first event I went to. I was very happy to see people from different nationalities and countries, many of them had also just arrived. At that moment I knew I was not alone. I made great friends that night, friends that took me to discover the city and its hidden gems. I knew I had settled in. I knew I had found my place, I had my group of friends, and the city became ''friendlier'' to me.

Since then, I’ve become a tour guide of the city and an InterNations Ambassador helping all the newcomers feel welcome the same way I felt welcomed.

I would advise all expats not to surrender. Every city has something to discover and has people waiting to meet you. At first, change is not easy, but when you meet these people, the transition will be much easier. Look out for them, search online groups, communities, and when you do, when you meet these like-minded people, a new page of your stay will open.

Life is an adventure, and believe me, you will have amazing stories to tell of this adventure!

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