Thinking of Becoming an Expat? Here are Some Tips & Advice to Consider

We hope you all have been enjoying our Expat Life Interview Series, and we hope they have been helpful. A big thanks to our expat guests for sharing with us their in-depth expat experience. So, we want to share with you one of the series’ key points: tips and advice.

Expat Life Interview Series: 2017 | 2018 | 2019


Here’s the roundup of expat tips and advice for anyone looking to live and work overseas.

Aditi: Indian expat living in Malaysia

“Malaysia is a great place to be in. It depends on the kind of work you are looking at. There are options for businesses, corporate set-ups and start-ups available. As long as you have your visa in place, there shouldn’t be an issue.”

Read more of Aditi’s expat life experience in Malaysia.

Tuktuk at Laos


Taylor: American expat living in Kuwait

“If you can live or work overseas, do it. There is nothing out there that can teach you more about yourself and the world than stepping outside your comfort zone. We typically live in a bubble so to speak, and we never truly get to see the world from another perspective. Kuwait is a very interesting country and highly recommend it! My advice is also, no matter what country you are able to become an expat in, go into the experience with a positive outlook.”

Read more of Taylor’s expat life experience in Kuwait.

Interview with Taylor: Expat Life in Kuwait


Expat advice | Go into the experience with a positive outlook. Click To Tweet


Charmaine: Canadian expat living in Hong Kong

“Don’t stay in an ‘expat bubble,’ and try to expose yourself to more of the local culture and people. You will learn so much more.”

Read more of Charmaine’s expat life experience in Hong Kong.



Christopher: Canadian expat living in Turkey

“I’m not sure I would, in fact, recommend that someone come and live and work in Istanbul at this time. In the three years I’ve been here, things have become increasingly complicated on a number of levels, and that can be potentially difficult to navigate. Istanbul is my second home, don’t get me wrong, but it is not the easiest city in the world to thrive in, especially not right now. I don’t necessarily want to elaborate on that too much, but I can just say that it’s a city in the midst of an immense change, and it’s worth thinking about whether you feel, as an individual, that you can handle a city in such flux. Yet, I still maintain that Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities, and I love it as deeply as one can love a city.”

READ MORE:  Interview with Hon. Pauline Truong: Expat Life in The USA

Read more of Christopher’s expat life experience in Turkey.

Galata Tower


Jennifer: Canadian expat living in Japan

“I think it’s helpful to have at least a simple understanding of Japanese culture before deciding to spend a long time here. Even then, you might find that it is not for you.

As with any new place, knowing some of the languages will go a long way in making your stay more comfortable, and people will appreciate your effort.

While I don’t love everything about Japan, I like enough to want to spend my life here right now. I think it’s important to have realistic expectations of the country since every place has its faults. I’ve come across some people who live here and only have negative things to say, and they’re such a downer.

Japan has a lot of wonderful things to offer, so you must find a balance.”

Read more of Jennifer’s expat life experience in Japan.

expat life - japan


Expat advice | It’s important to have realistic expectations of the country... Click To Tweet


Edel: Filipino expat living in Kuwait

Stay strong. Be wise. Save money. Most importantly, always pray to God.

Read more of Edel’s expat life experience in Kuwait.

Interview with Edel: Expat Life in Kuwait


Carmen: Filipino expat living in Qatar

Be ready. Be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually ready.

Be ready to feel homesick. For mothers working here, it’s going to be hard being separated from your children. There will be times when you feel down and miss your family and would want to go home. If you go home just to see your family, can you afford it financially? Can you afford to resign? Is there a job waiting for you back home? Is it worth it to go home and give up the job here? 

READ MORE:  Expat Dilemma: Should We Stay or Should We Go [Things Expats Should Do When They are Considering Moving Back Home]

Be ready for a hard life. You will need to work hard. Some people take additional jobs so they can earn more. I remember doing the difficult flights, working on a day off or doing overtime so I can just earn more money.

Be ready for unfair treatment. Remember, we are residents. They will always prioritize the locals or other nationality over you. But don’t tolerate it all the time. Be assertive.

Be physically ready. Make sure you are healthy. It is expensive to get sick. Pack appropriate and conservative clothes for the ladies. Prepare clothes for both hot and cold season.

Be spiritually ready. Have faith that everything will be ok…

Read more of Carmen’s expat life experience in Qatar.

MIA PArk, Qatar



Are you an expat? What other tips and advice can you give to anyone looking to live and work overseas? Share in the comment box below.



More posts on Expat Life
Things Expat Should do When They are Considering Moving Back Home
How to Deal with Reverse Culture Shock
How to Deal with Homesickness as an Expat

The Expat Life Interview Series was created to know more about the country, not just from a traveler's perspective. We hope to help others who are thinking of working abroad to know how it is to live and work with the locals. If you are living and working abroad even for only a few months or several years and would like to be featured on Wellington World Travels, please Contact Us so we can send you the questions and you can share your expat life experience.

Disclosure: Wellington World Travels uses affiliate links and paid advertisements. That means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Read more about our Disclaimer & Disclosure Policy for more details.

Comment Policy:
Comments are welcomed and encouraged on this site. However, comments may not contain advertisements, profanity, potentially libelous statements, language insensitive to other religions, or comments not relating to the topic. Please see our full comment policy for more details. We reserve the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to this site without notice.

22 thoughts on “Thinking of Becoming an Expat? Here are Some Tips & Advice to Consider”

  1. I enjoyed these posts, but particularly Christopher’s about Instanbul. A close friend worked there 25 years ago teaching English in schools, but it has changed so much now – my 22 year old loved it when he visited and said it was the busiest, maddest place he had ever been to. I really appreciate Christopher’s honesty about the current state of flux and that to live there needs to be considered. Great series, Wellington family! x

  2. This was wonderful. I read Christopher’s whole story and the snippets from all the rest. What fascinating people. I do think it’s entirely correct to say you learn more dimensions of yourself when you live in another country. I lived in Sweden for half a year–and I did learn a few things about myself. But, at that time I wanted things to be as familiar as they could, rather than embracing the “strange and new.” If I could do it all over again, I would change my mindset. These adventurers you’ve featured are great examples of everyday awesomeness.

    • Thank you for reading their expat experience. I had the same mindset during my initial years. I wanted the ‘familiar’ things while settling in and adjusting. But by doing that made it harder for me to adopt the culture. It’s really better to embrace their culture since it is going to be your “new” culture.

  3. I have spent two years in England and a few months in the US but nowhere more exotic long-term where I worked and lived and not just holidayed. This piece gives me grear insights.

  4. It is interesting seeing what advice ex-pats give to others thinking of living in another country. My brother lives in Malaysia and has lived in Hong Kong too. He loves the lifestyle out there and seems to have fitted in well. I think it really helps to have some knowledge about the customs and cultures of the country you intend to live in beforehand.

  5. I’m British, spent two years living and working in Germany, then 4.5 in the US. Socially, get out of your comfort zone, and meet local people. But it’s also nice to find a few or your own tribe, whatever that may be!

    • I find Filipinos here are always in a group. However, my husband is an American. so I got to meet other people. Having a little bit of everything – local friends, other nationalities and fellow countrymen – is much better. It balances social and inner circle.

  6. I’m not sure if I could live in another country, although who knows what the future holds. I certainly would like to travel more and see different cultures. I think people are really quite brave when moving to a knew country and having to adjust to the new culture. I imagine it really helps you grow and opens your eyes to new ways of doing things 🙂

    • Even I said that I will never leave the Philippines and just stay with my Mom. Oh well, here I am living in a different country ? It really does open your eyes to new ways of doing things. It is part of adjusting and adopting in a new country.

  7. I was an expat (Indian living in Kenya way back) and I agree with the tips shared here. Be a part of the local culture, learn their ways, get involved in the community. It expands your outlook like nothing else does.

  8. It’s increasingly likely that this will be our experience sometime in the future, probably somewhere in Asia (China perhaps). Thanks for all the links… I’ll be reading through all of these experiences to prepare!

  9. I love these tips for just traveling in general. My favorite is “don’t live in an expat bubble.” When my family takes road trips, we love hanging with the locals. These are the times we learn the most, make new friends, and cherish the most. Great post! ?

    • I agree. I’ve been guilty of living in an ‘expat bubble’ when I was still a new expat. it was my own way of settling in a new country. As soon as I hang out with the locals, I learned a lot. Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate it.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.