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 Malaysia:
The purpose of living in a foreign country is to experience a new culture, new food and a different way of life. I find that if I ask a local about something I need, I will get more accurate and helpful information than I would get from a fellow expat.
Life in Malaysia has been very different from home but we knew it would be, so rather than experiencing “culture shock”, we tried to keep an open mind about the differences and to laugh at and learn from them as much as possible. Overall, the experience has been amazing and we would definitely recommend others to try it. We would do it again in a heartbeat, but we'd also be lying if we denied being at least a little homesick. Coming from Georgia, perhaps the thing we miss the most is the “southern hospitality” we probably took for granted. The unique food in Malaysia has been an interesting adventure, travel is incredibly easy within as well as in-and-out-of KL and there’s a tremendous diversity here that makes it an exciting place to live and work.
I am a different type of expat to what is usually understood by the title “expat”. I didn’t move here together with my family like most expats do who move abroad for work purposes. My wife is actually a local Malaysian and I moved here to settle down with no money, no job, a complete fresh start in a town I had never knew existed. However, I am still living the expat life now; it’s just that I’ve gone through it in an entirely different set of circumstances.
Goodness, I need my entire blog to explain all the ways that life is different. I’m the American-born child of Chinese-Filipino immigrants, so parts of the culture and food were already familiar to me. Growing up in Texas prepared me for the tropical heat and humidity. The major culture shock has come from getting used to driving in Malaysia and giving up the one-stop-shopping mega grocery stores in America. I love the lower cost of living here.
I am quite flexible, I am quite flexible, so there were no major problems, but when I was back in the UK I had thought that it would be easy enough to get various things here, and I gave away many things I wish now I had brought with me.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe there’s no school to prepare anyone to become an expatriate. Despite there’s International studies and related courses around, still no books or classroom could make anyone ready for being one. All hassles and problems that come with living and working abroad are all part of the thing called life. To entertain regrets with decision made in the past is just futile.
Having lived on four continents now, I didn’t really experience culture shock with this move, but I have to say that even two years in there are still plenty of things that surprise me every single day.
Go in with an open mind. Malaysian cities can be a bit overwhelming when you first arrive. This is the same in every country in the region. But if you open yourself up to new experiences, you’ll discover some great little hidden treasures. These are the things that will have you falling in love with a place.