Life overseas isn’t always glamorous especially when you’re there as a temporary worker or the spouse of a work visa holder. I’ve met people who bemoaned not being able to get the same job or the same managerial level in the same industry. I’ve met people who became frustrated with the bureaucratic processes involved in getting a work permit for themselves or their spouses or renting an apartment for their family. I’ve met spouses who claimed boredom after living in their temporary home for more than a year. I’ve read articles about spouses who became depressed after losing their social network.
Life overseas as an expatriate can be both liberating and confining depending on how you look at it. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to live in countries where English was one of if not the lingua franca. When I moved to Australia, I experienced bouts of insecurity, not only because I didn’t know their culture but also because I had to start at the bottom. I struggled to understand some of the conversations when Aussie terms where used. But I learned and I adapted.
When we moved to the United States of America, it was another upheaval. There were the usual visa processes but then layer that with trying to get a Social Security Number, opening a bank account, getting a driver’s license, with everything depending on having a Social Security Number and the frustration mounted. But that too, passed. I met people, joined a club, and travelled the country and my life there became easier.
Now, in Singapore, it’s somewhat similar to the US. We also had to look for an apartment, opened separate bank accounts, compared health insurance offers, and scrounged the net for reviews on health providers.
To help others learn make life overseas easier or to just give a general idea of what moving and living overseas entail, I’ve made comparative posts on various topics. I’ve also added some light-hearted posts on the leisure activities in each country.