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 San Francisco:
I believe I was reasonably prepared, since I had the advantage of prior exposure to the culture and the presence of some family in the area. We did have a nasty incident involving a car accident fairly early into our stint, and that exposed us to the complex, infuriating world of American insurance companies and lawyers, in addition to the healthcare system, but we chose to chalk that up to experience and learn from it.
I was adopted almost immediately by the new parents group at my daughter’s school - mostly made up of expats. I also have developed the unfortunate habit of striking up conversation with almost anyone, and those with an accent are even more at risk from my attentions. My kids cringe in horror.
The main difference for me is living some form of an adventure every day. Although the city feels like home now, it still feels uncomfortable in a good way. I get surprised every day and I love that. The hardest part for me was “making” friends. This took and still takes an effort that I was not required to make back home.
I always liked traveling and having adventures, so I was aware and mentally prepared for something different and for the unexpected, which to me is a little scary and exciting.
The biggest ongoing difference in lifestyle is that I’m so much more active here: in London my fitness was sporadic, with my longest run being just 5km. Here, it’s much easier to be outside all through the winter, and running beside the San Francisco Bay is such a pleasure. I now run three times a week and completed the Napa Valley marathon a couple of years ago.