Source: Creative Commons
Nearly one in four (23%) ticked the 12-18 months category, whilst another 23% of votes show that people only feel settled after 24 months of living in a new country. Perhaps this first peek exemplifies the opinions of expats who have moved to a country where the culture is relatively similar to their country of origin, where there is no language barrier and their professional and social life can become stable quite quickly. Dave Hampton tweeted that he felt settled when ‘surroundings stop being different or exotic’, about 12 months in his case.
On the other hand, the reason for many not feeling settled until after 24 months could be because of a larger ‘culture shock’, and this is the time it takes to finally feel at ease with the day-to-day language and lifestyle of a new country.
As the widely spread results show, every case is different and there are a multitude of aspects to life as an expat which can affect this feeling of being settled. For example:
· What are the reasons for moving and how long had it been planned?
· Are you going into the same job?
· Are you retired or are you starting afresh?
· Do you have family in the country you are moving to?
· Is there an established expat community?
· How old are you and do you have children?
· Does the country you are moving to have the same cultural norms?
· Religious beliefs or speak the same language as you do?
· Are there any preconceptions of you, such as was shown in previous blogs within our Expat Women Series, regarding gender?
Alternatively, ‘does anyone ever feel settled?’, as Andrew Couch tweeted in response to our poll.
We’d love to hear your opinions and stories on this diverse topic.