Expat life sounds easy but it is a lot more difficult than we think. The moment I checked in at the airport and sat at the boarding gates, I realised that my life was going to change! And it did…
Stepping out of our comfort zone teaches us a lot more than we can ever imagine. When we move to another country, we leave the cozy cocoon that we have grown up in, that is familiar to us, that has protected us all this while and comforted us. But it is only when we flee from this safe haven that we realise the efforts that go into building a nest.
My fondest early memories of expat life are those of finding accommodation. Every day had a similar pattern – meet a broker, visit a few houses, evaluate the pros and cons. I have realised that there is a strange rhythm to this house hunting process. You see, shortlist, negotiate, eliminate and then see some more! This cycle repeats until you find something that ticks all or almost all boxes of your checklist.
To add to this, there are random uncertainties and frustrations:
- You love the house but it does not fit into your budget…
- The house fits into your budget but you do not like it…
- You love the house, it fits into your budget (Eureka moment!)…But, alas, its already sold! (Damn!)
But when you finally hold the key to the house that you can call your own (for whatever time that you are there), you feel relieved, ecstatic and accepted at the same time! There is a strange sense of achievement and a strong sense of coalescence with the city. You finally have an address – an identity in a new, unknown city!
My house hunting experience taught me a lot:
- Be patient – give it enough time, don’t be impulsive
- Be practical – evaluate pros and cons, don’t be emotional while making these decisions
- Be observant – Keep your eyes open, don’t overlook the details
- And also, trust your instincts! – It HAS TO feel right….
More than anything else, it taught me to value what I have! It made me appreciate the sheltered life that I lived all these years. Thanks to my family!
Here is a tip to everyone reading this, do not fear the unknown. Do the unexpected at times, surprise yourself, take some difficult decisions… There are quite a few hidden life lessons in every choice that you make…