The 5 phases of being an expat

The 5 phases of being an expat in London

Moving to a new country can be an exciting and daunting experience. Here we take a look at the five stages you may move through as an expat in London.

The 5 phases of being an expat

Here we take a look at the five stages you may move through as an expat in London.

1) The honeymoon

As you walk through London its beauty and personality will enthral you. You’ll take countless Instagram photos from the top of the London Eye and make Facebook check-ins at local landmarks.

You’ll check out red telephone boxes and pose beside stone-faced guards outside Buckingham Palace. London is the best city in the world, you know it, and you want the rest of the world to know it too. But, as we’re all aware, a honeymoon can only last so long.

2) Reality

Homesickness begins to set in and you realise that support systems, such as family and friends, are so distant. You may even feel a little isolated and confused. The local culture seems strange and often makes you feel like you don’t fit in.

The warm craft ale at the local pub no longer tastes interesting and unique, and you miss your local back home. What started out as being exciting has become day-to-day and mundane.

3) Resentment

You begin to resent the unusual cultural traits, people and places that you encounter every day. The London Eye becomes an overrated Ferris wheel and the only time you want to see a red telephone box is if you need shelter from the rain.

You frequently, and passionately, talk about “back home” and start to wonder why you ever made the move.

4) Clarity

Culture-shock becomes a cultural norm and you feel more like your old self again. You learn to accept, and even love, all the differences.

The feeling of isolation fades and becomes an appreciation of the place and the people you’re surrounded by. The cosy pub down the road is a welcome break from the winter weather.

5) Integration

If you’ve made it this far then all that’s left is the final stage: you embrace British culture. You may even experience the warmth of patriotism when you see the Queen on TV or read of a royal baby in the newspaper.

You may have adopted some new habits and speech patterns that will leave people back home scratching their heads. But you flaunt your new lingo.

Starting life in a new country can be intimidating but the adventure is worth it. If you’re ready to take the first step on your UK journey, let 1st Contact Kickstart set you off on the right foot. They can help you set up a UK bank account or even sort out your National Insurance number. London is waiting.