The ability to adapt is, in my humble opinion, the single most important trait that any successful expat needs to possess. Being able to accept, or even embrace change on a daily basis is vital. It is, therefore, inevitable that in order to integrate into a new culture, regardless of how similar it may appear to be from your home country, you will change.
I don’t think I have changed dramatically although I know some of the personality traits I already had have become more pronounced. Who I am, my beliefs and core values remain the same but I have changed in subtle ways.
I am stronger, braver and more self-reliant than ever and although it is in my nature to be very cautious I find myself more willing to take risks, after all there is little in life as risky as upping sticks and moving to a different continent and if I can make a success of that then I can deal with pretty much anything else!
I think because I notice the difference between me those around me it has made me more self-aware, I am quieter and, truth be told, more withdrawn now and I have much less confidence because of those differences. Although I do feel that I know myself better now as having to deal with new experiences all the time has made me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses.
I am without doubt more emotional than before and being an emotional person to begin with that probably isn’t a good thing! I am very quick to tears now and that I think is because I constantly feel the absence of my family and friends. I’m not sure that will ever change and I guess it is something that I will get used to in time.
What makes me happy has changed, like taking a walk in a pretty spot, photographing a beautiful landscape, camping in the forest or canoeing at sunset and it doesn’t get better than hot chocolate and a roaring fire in the winter while the snow falls.
Adapting to a different culture, landscape and weather patterns have all changed me but nothing has changed me more than learning to live without my loved ones.
Joining in with Expat Revelations – How I’ve changed since Expatriation hosted by the lovely Holly at English Girl Canadian Man