5 Common Cultural Frustrations of Moving Abroad

Posted by on Mar 10, 2012 in live abroad, moving abroad | No Comments

When you decide to work abroad, you have to take the good with the bad. Although there will be some amazing things to enjoy and it will be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life, there will also be some cultural differences that might make your life more difficult.

You can never really plan for these things properly, so the best plan is to simply travel with an open mind and accept that not everything is going to be perfect.

Here are some of the most common cultural differences which may prove to be frustrating when you live abroad.

Frustration © by sharonnnnnnn

1. Food

One thing for certain about your new destination is that the food will be different. This can, of course, be one of the great things about moving abroad, and trying out all the tasty new meals can make the experience really special.

But it can also be annoying on those days when you miss the food you are familiar with and all you want to do is crack open a can of baked beans and pour them over a slice of crispy toast.

Meal times may also be vastly different from what you are used to. In Spain, dinner is late and you may find yourself eating as late as ten in the evening. That can be fun to start with, but if you’ve had a long day you may find it inconvenient and frustrating having to stay up so late.

2. Haggling

If you travel to a less developed country then you may find that you are expected to haggle for your goods when you go to the shops.

Haggling can be great fun when you go on holiday, but when you just want to buy something without having to make a song and dance about it, you may find that you get pretty tired of it after a while.

3. Bureaucracy

Things can sometimes take a lot longer to get done abroad, especially anything official like starting up a business. Systems can often be very different and sometimes very frustrating to work your way around.

In fact, sometimes they seem to be designed to make your life difficult, and when you need to get something done urgently it can prove to be incredibly annoying.

4. Driving

The UK is, on the whole, a nation of reasonably good drivers. You may not think that now, but after you have moved overseas you will discover for yourself just how bad the level of driving is in some countries.

Again, it can be quite fun when you’re a tourist, but live somewhere with terrible driving for any length of time and it begins to become very frustrating indeed.

5. Corruption

This is something you certainly won’t find in every destination, but if you head to a less developed country it may be more prevalent.

Sometimes corruption is very open, and it can be shocking when you first see policemen taking bribes openly on the street.

When you live in a country which has a reputation for corruption, it is one of those frustrating things which you often have to just deal with, no matter how much it bothers you.

It’s All Part of the Adventure

These things can all be very frustrating when you move overseas, so it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for the fact that not all of the changes are going to be ones that you like.

If you can, try to think of them as part of the adventure, and remember that all of the good things about your trip will make it more than worthwhile in the end.

Have you signed up as a member of LWA yet? Keep up to date with our favourite resources for starting a new life abroad. 

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