Saturday, August 25, 2007

Living Abroad

Traveling in Europe is very different from living abroad. Many people, including us, have traveled in Europe. It's great! You stay in a hotel or nice apartment. All of you are off work and on vacation together. Actually living somewhere is different and hard. The "usual" jobs must be done, only in a different country and with a different language.

This is the list of the three things that we each found to be the hardest about living overseas.

1 - Being away from family and friends - missing stuff!

2 - More stress when simple tasks get complicated (like driving, taking public transport, etc), especially if you are not in a 1st world country.

3 - Finding things to do during free time, since most cultural events and attractions are communicated in a foreign language.

1 - Finding ingredients for our favorite meals. Basically when we first came I tried to make our stateside favorites. That doesn't work, it only makes us homesick. The key is to just create new dishes using the local ingredients.

2 - The staples of a kitchen are slightly different here. For example: the sugar is more granulated, the flour is finer, and the yeast isn't "double acting". All recipes have to be "tweaked".

3 - Paying bills. Here we actually go to the utility company to pay the bill. We don't have a checking account here so everything is handled in cash. I am used to paying bills online for the states.

1 - Same. (I thought this was a great first response. Her world is close to the same no matter where she lives. I'm thankful we were able to make her feel secure in another country)

2 - People don't smile at you in the streets.

3 - Gymnastics.