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Weekends Away From Home

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by Camille (subscribe)
Camille is a freelance ghost blog and web content writer. She's also a musician and an "Autoimmunee". She loves learning and sharing about how to live life with positive energy and meaning. www.expressedbycamille.com.au and www.autoimmunee.com
Published July 29th 2015
Don't be afraid of your new home away from home
Weekends Away From Home
When I was 12, I moved from Australia to the Philippines. It was a bit of a culture shock to say the least, but now after more than a decade has passed, it's truly been such an amazing experience and meeting other temporary ex-pats like myself has inspired me to see life from all different kinds of perspectives.

immerse. visit local hot spots, weekends away from home
Island hopping to a local hot spot (that not many people know about)


Have you ever lived overseas for more than a few months? Whether as a child or as an adult, moving countries can be big challenge but also a great adventure!

As a Weekend Notes writer, it made me think about what one does on the weekend in a new, exotic place. Sure, you are essentially a tourist when you first move, but after a few weeks you're more local than tourist, but you're also more tourist than local if that makes sense?

Here are some ideas to keep your weekends meaningful and fun while living overseas:

Relate
Whether your move is for a few years or just a few months learning a bit of the native tongue gains not only respect from those you meet in your new locale but also makes getting around much easier you can actually understand (even if a little) what's going on around you and express yourself easier.

In the Philippines, everyone speaks great English, but like in any country, showing a bit of effort in learning the local language goes a long way and opens up people to wanting to help you get to know the country.

On your free weekends, get a tutor or join a language class you'll be able to meet more people and in learning the language learn more about the country itself too.

learning the language, weekends away from home
Having a good laugh while learning some new phrases


Immerse
As the saying goes 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do'. Instead of going full on tourist mode (you may have already done this since moving to your new home) try going local and discovering places that only the locals know about.

Best way to do this, of course, is to ask a local! Or better yet, make friends with someone who will also be happy to share with you the local secrets for the best place to eat and visit.

It's not always the number one on the list of Trip Advisor or Lonely Planet that's the best it's the locals who know best in their locale so go out and immerse yourself. Some things you might not want to ever have to try again while others you won't be able to wait to try again and again! The point is trying something new, you never know what it's like if you don't try.

immerse. visit local hot spots, weekends away from home
Island hopping to a local hot spot (that not many people know about)


Embrace
A friend of mine who moved to Cambodia from Australia for several months, brought up a terrific point "I remember hearing some tourists/expats speaking loudly and unpleasantly about how different (in a bad way) it was than where they were from" she began. "My family and I moved to Cambodia knowing things would be different but open to embracing these changes, we didn't want it to be like home that's really important! When I heard these people talk with such a negative attitude, I thought to myself 'why did they bother coming here in the first place?'."

Like I said, moving to another country has it's challenges, things are done a different way, it's a different culture with a different set of norms and beliefs. This is the best part of your move if you embrace it. Best tip for having an awesome weekend away from home - be open to new experiences!

Sure, you don't have to change yourself, but you can be respectful and learn from these differences. The experiences in moving to another country whether good or bad can only make you a more broad-minded and understanding individual.

embrace, cultural differences, transport, weekends away from home
Embracing differences - yep that includes getting around on a tricylce, super fun!


Taste
Speaking to a few of my fellow international mover and shakers (those who moved overseas such as embassy families, linguists, photographers, international teachers, ex-pats etc) one big thing a lot comment on is the food.

After a few weeks or months, you can't help but miss the tastes of home.

Despair not! You're now in a new country, where you food is the exotic, new cuisine. Spend your weekend cooking up a storm of your favourite home foods, and invite new friends to try.

This doesn't mean you're disrespecting the new culture you've immersed yourself into, instead look at it as a way of teaching your new friends a little bit about your home too. Cultural understanding works both ways, and it's understandable to miss home sometimes especially home foods.

taste, weekends away from home, cooking, food
Ok, so maybe this isn't the most appetizing photo - but honestly you can't miss the simple comfort of an aussie pie on a quiet afternoon


What are your top tips for weekends away from your home country?
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Why? It can be scaring moving, but it's best to throw yourself out there to enjoy your weekends
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