Prepare Yourself

Before even considering what shirts to pack, you must prepare yourself first. That entails preparing our attitude, our mindset, answering our most basic questions and so on.

Here are the Top 5 Must-Dos that will make or break your experience abroad.

  • Kill Debt.
    Or at least seriously knock it down.
    If you have overwhelming debt before you leave, then odds are good you’ll have even more debt when you return.
    For example, if you can’t sell your old house, make sure a tenant’s rent will cover most if not all expenses.
  • Be Healthy.
    Starting an adventure like this can be tough on the body and soul at first. Maybe the best preparation is starting with good health, physical and mental.
  • Smile. Go with the Flow
    Packing your toothbrush is important. But not as important as packing a sense of humor. It really goes a long, long way when sharing someone else’s country.
  • Avoid Analysis Paralysis.
    Don’t get bogged down in every detail. Sure, plan, but paralyze yourself from doing. For example, learn an overview of the neighborhoods in your target city, but don’t bother judging between streets. Some things are just better discovered when you arrive, listen and learn.
  • Prepare for the Unexpected.
    This goes back to the thing above, about having a sense of humor. As an expat, there are so many times when you just think “What are they thinking?” or even “What the hell?!?”
    Prepare to be surprised, even shocked occasionally. (It is called culture shock, after all)
    Just understand that ahead of time, it will happen. No big deal.

Or, skip everything above and just Go For It (one of the 4 ways to Expat Yourself).

Learning a Language
I can highly recommend one service for learning French. That’s Frantastique
(That link includes a 1 week trial.)

Answering Basic Questions
For answering the most basic questions, here is an e-book you can download immediately. (Right-click on link to save.)
“InfoBook for Foreigners” is written for expats moving to Prague. Yes, it’s to Prague, but a lot of is helpful for most anywhere. You get 96 pages talking about everything from housing, to healthcare, to schools, to starting your own business. Enjoy!

Dizzy? Light-headed? Let Me Help You
I whipped together this webpage in 5 minutes. Of course, I’m much more useful if you e-mail me so we can work 1-on-1 immediately.
Tell me you’re interested in being an expat,…and I get dizzy trying to help you fast enough.

5 thoughts on “Prepare Yourself”

    1. Hi Janee’
      There is a small paperback book called “Dos & DON’Ts in THAILAND” by Kenny Yee & Catherine Gordon ISBN: 974-89009-8-3. You should be able to find it on Amazon. It’s written in a entertaining way and covers most interpersonal situations you might run into. The best online source I’ve found is this site: http://www.stickmanbangkok.com/
      The site is written by an expat from New Zealand who has been teaching in Bangkok for about 20 years, It originally started as a review of the bar scene and first impression is still of that but his sections on living and working there are very useful.
      There is also this YAHOO group run for and by Thai expats: http://forums.delphiforums.com/ThaiFalang/
      (Foreigners there are often referred to as “Falangs”, pronounced “Farangs”)
      My wife is Thai and I have spent many months in Thailand. I could easily live there except that after 12 years I haven’t been able to speak Thai. Unless you are living in either Bangkok or Chiang Mai you will hear very little English spoken.
      Until recently it has been nearly impossible for foreigners to get a Thai work permit for anything except teaching English, that seems to be changing as their economy improves.
      Lots of luck
      Paul

    2. Hi Jeff,
      Congratulations on a beautifully designed website, Clean, well organized, and informative. I sent a reply to Janee’ regarding Thailand. Feel free to add my sources to yours.
      Paul d’E

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