If I have to think back to all my expatriate assignments, a couple of things in particular always come up. FUN and FRIENDSHIPS were really the two cornerstones that made each assignment worth it. Most of my good memories revolve either around having fun or making new, amazing friends and having fun with them.
Let’s start with fun. I know that the word fun has a different meaning to all of us, but without having fun (whatever it means to you), our lives would be dull, uninteresting and boring. What’s your definition of fun? What do you like to do for fun? What opportunities do you have for fun in a country where you live now?
And now the friendships. The friends we make in distant lands support us, encourage us, laugh with us and cry with us (well, when we really need them to). Thanks to the internet and Facebook in particular we can now keep in touch and continue to follow the lives of those friends who we leave behind as we move on to another destination. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but some of the friendships I’ve developed during my overseas assignments have been among the most special in my life.
It’s not an easy task to always have to make friends and then leave them when you leave the country (a helpful article on “How to make friends again… and again … and again” here). But it can be done and the effort is totally worth it. What are your thoughts on this? And what friendship moments will you always remember?
For all the letters in the A to Z of Successful Expatriation™ click here.
Dedicated to all my expat friends who made a difference in my life (you know who you are!).
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