I saw a similar post on a blog and I thought I should write my own guide which I named 15 Ways to Feel at Home in a Foreign Country. There are a few obvious things anybody who wants to move in another country has to do, like learning the language and a bit of geography, familiarizing with the law and customs. If moving to United Kingdom, refer to it as UK, don’t say England if you are referring to the whole country (only imagine what Nicola Sturgeon would say about that). Beside that, the only thing needed is a desire to integrate and keep an open mind. It’s that easy.
I enjoyed thinking of this topic.
1. Make you house your home.
I started with this because it’s one of the most important things regardless if the move is to a different flat/house, city or a country. I don’t think I should even start talking about the importance of having a nice and cosy home, everyone knows that. I know it’s more difficult when the house is rented, but it can be made homely with pictures, favourite books and vases, a cuddly toy and nice things bought from travels. I have in my living room a cuddly toy my husband bought for me in our honeymoon, a 500 years old piece of pottery I got from London last year. Little things can make a huge difference.
2. Local foods.
Try local foods. There are plenty of new and exciting things to try in a new country. Imagine if you really like the new food. Also, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it again, but at least you’ve tried it. Also, if you are talking with someone about food, you will know what they are talking about.
It might sound obvious, but it’s not. I had a chat with an expat who had no idea what a Christmas pudding is, despite celebrating Christmas two times in UK. Maybe not everybody likes it, although I can’t understand why someone would not try a pud filled with dried fruits and booze. I can’t imagine now my Christmas day without a Christmas pudding. My husband doesn’t like raisins, so it’s not as keen on it.
3. Read books written by British authors.
I think reading a few books will make the culture of the new country easier to understand. I didn’t do that from the beginning, but I’ve read British authors since I was a teenager and I read novels in English 5-6 years before moving to the UK. This is what I would do if I would move to another country. I think it’s a really helpful way to learn a few things before moving.