Once the expatriation process is finalised comes the adaptation to a new daily life. This is the beginning of the expat life. Changing your routine and stepping away from your comfort zone are not a challenge that everyone can take up.
Moving overseas to settle down in a new foreign city requires courage, dedication and passion for travels. No more favorite coffee spot, no more comfort of your own house with your habits. Everything is going to change. You need to set up a new routine. Find a few landmarks in your new home. In a way, you need to recreate a new routine.
Luckily, we are never really alone during this big move and change. Your family is always here to help you out from far away – see the article Living far far away from your relatives. Some friendly locals and neighbors would give a hand with administrative and daily life tricks. Finally,your lover is definitely a great emotional support.
The common questioning about my origins and decision to move overseas
Let me be honest with you! At first, I was delighted to see and hear people’s interest in my personal expat story. Questions about my origins and the reasons that led me to move from France to Australia. Well, having to say the same thing over and over, it costs me heaps of saliva!
However, it is really funny to hear them guess where I am from after I just say a few words in English. Others would keep their mouth shut and not be able to find out my country of origin. Finally, some would not say a word about my accent, maybe to be polite.
Once they figure out I’m from France, people become curious asking me why I moved out of there. I often answer this question with a touch of nostalgia. “Wish to visit a new country”. “Bad job market in France”. “Wish to continuously improve my English”. These are some of the reasons for my expatriation. Obviously, everyone is different and other French people could answer differently.
I often hear them saying that it’s a brave decision, “you gotta have balls to step out of your comfort zone”. Then, I always add that this is something everybody can do and experience. You just need to truly want it and be well-prepared.
Life as a French expat in Australia
Every time I reveal that I’m French, people often tell me that they’ve been to Paris. Then I usually grumble a bit and let them know that there is so much more to see in France besides the capital. I might sound proud when I speak about the French life in France. However, I take pride in giving them a positive image of my home country.
I appreciate talking with Francophiles. They are a few in Australia. Australians are quite fascinated by France. A few of my Aussie guy friends have a big crush on French women. They ask me to teach them some sweet words in French just after I told them how to say swear words.
Although I have also noticed that some people would not ask any question about my expat life at a first encounter. I find it quite weird, almost offensive. I am sure that my accent gives away that I am not from Australia. So why are they not curious to find out more about my origins? Maybe because they think that I would not understand them for not being a native English speaker. Or it could be because they are not interested in knowing more about the French culture. Finally, they could just not like the French and have a bad opinion of them. Who knows? Nobody is perfect!
In my opinion, being an expat living in Australia is such a great experience. A chance to fulfil your personal and professional lives. An opportunity to discover a new way of life, a new culture as well as different habits.
Obviously, things are not looking so good every day. Whether you live in your home country or in an adopted one, there are always ups and downs. I am proud to say that I can overtake difficult life moments or administrative issues in a foreign country. It makes every obstacle more challenging, especially with the language barrier at times.
However, do not think that living the expat life in OZ is complicated. Not at all! Coming from France and the U.S., the culture and lifestyle here not so different. The English language which I learnt at school and I have been speaking for years now cannot be fully considered as an obstacle. Other aspects such as eating habits and work ethic are following a similar scheme to our home countries. Thus, no big surprise every day.
Moving overseas has never been so easy for the French
Moving overseas might still sound complicated to some people. However, there are so many websites and agencies which offer services to future and current expats. Their tips help you out to make the big move and the expat life as smooth as possible.
From government websites to online communities, all the answers to your questions on the expat life are on the web:
- The French site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their news site
- Sign up with Arianne to receive all the breaking news and security advice
- Follow the local expat community to get tips from those who experienced similar challenges and doubts: Union des Français de l’Etranger (in French), expat.com, Français du monde (in French)
- Remember France at one of the local associations promoting French culture through social events organized by the Alliance Française local branch or the Institut Français
- Keep in touch with France thanks to these French news sites: Courrier Expat, French TV Expat, Lepetitjournal.com
The expatriation process is complete once you have a new routine
A new life starts over in your host country, the one of a French expat who settled down abroad. What was strange and unknown at first turns into a habit, something that does not surprise you anymore. Your adaptation to your adopted city is complete.
Living in a country where you were not born is a continuous learning process. You find out about local traditions, lifestyle habits almost on a daily basis. The expat life is always full of surprises and discoveries.
A well-prepared move abroad often ends up being a fulfilled daily expat life. Obviously, there are good and bad aspects of being an expat, sad and happy life moments. However, it is part of the game! You have to find a good life balance which allows you to grow personally and professionally.
Let me end this post with these philosophical words. I could go on about this topic forever! Hope to read your comments and hear about your personal experience.