Survival tips for newbies

September 28, 2007

Yesterday I ran my Expat Writer – Break into Writing course. I love doing this and have now had more than 600 students, would you believe? This time the students came from as far apart at Argentina, Indonesia, Slovakia and Russia. This class involves a lot of practical writing and the students had to interview each other about how they stayed happy in a new posting. I thought you might like to see a selection of their responses:

To volunteer to welcome other newcomers as soon as I am settled.
To get a job fast.
To get out and meet people as much as possible.
To join a networking group – and the board – as soon as possible.
To start driving.
To make friends through the children and their school.
To eat healthily and exercise regularly.

As for me, I find that the toughest thing about a new posting is the crushing tiredness I feel after a few weeks, which leaves me too want to lethargic to get out there, get a job, drive, make friends or even eat healthily. But after 5 moves I now know that the only thing I must do is to get out there and start moving my body, then that gets the endorphins going, makes me want good food, lets me explore the local community and soon everything else falls into place. My bicycle got me settled here. Holland is good for that! Now, I can’t bear to be posted somewhere else that has hills!