Traveling to a new and unknown place is a scary and exciting decision. After you arrive in your new home country, reality hits and the glittery romanticism of expat life starts to rub off. Beneath it, the undeniable truth shines through: you’re an introvert, and it’s the reason why the challenges of living abroad are starting to reel their ugly head. Can the two – introversion and expatriates – go hand-in-hand? Is it possible for introverts to thrive and succeed as expats?
“He who knows himself is enlightened”
These wise words from Lao Tzu are the perfect place to start when it comes to acing your introverted expat experience. Here’s why. If you’ve decided to take the leap and travel the world, you’re following in the footsteps of brave men and women who’ve gone before you. People like Marco Polo, Ferdinand Magellen, Sacagawea and Isabelle Eberhardt. Not bad company!
And while that sounds inspiring and leaves you with some pretty cool bragging rights, it doesn’t really help you much when you’re struggling in your new home country. So, what will help you thrive and flourish as a little, foreign transplant?
Let’s face it, you can’t ask cultures to change for you. What’s more, other people will see, interpret and judge you based on what’s normal and acceptable to them – whether you like it or not. You also can’t expect the world to place more value on introverted qualities and less value on extroverted qualities. And at the end of the day, you can’t turn your back on the world and hide from everything that’s challenging you. So, what’s an introverted expat to do?
The best way to thrive in your new setting is to know yourself and know exactly what you need in your new habitat.
Being self-aware and prepared is an introverted expat’s key to success
After Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” became a bestseller back in 2012, introversion became something of a trend. Over the last five years, being an introvert has become cool.
It seemed that introverts started popping up out of the woodwork. But not for very long, of course, since being in the spotlight is a bit draining for them. Nonetheless, introverts started to understand their place in the world, and even better, they started owning their place in this great big world.
And that’s something you can do, too, wherever you find yourself in the world as you embark on expat living.
Thanks to Cain’s contributions to study of introversion, being an introvert has never been easier, but it’s not because the world has suddenly become more accommodating to introverts, or has started to place more value in introverted qualities. The world is just as extroverted as its always been.
So, what’s changed? Now, introverts have the wonderful, self-affirming opportunity to understand themselves better. And this self-awareness is a game changer, especially when it comes to living abroad as an expat.
Introverts Are Perfect Candidates for The Expat Life.
Introverts don’t have to overcome or cure their innate, introverted qualities. That’s because these aren’t setbacks. Instead, the essential characteristics that define introverts are actually what gives them a big advantage to living and thriving abroad.
You just have to know what these essential characteristics are, and how to optimize them. If you want to discover the introvert’s superpowers and how you can use them to make your expat experience truly awesome, check out “Introverted Expat 101: How to Be, Live and Thrive as an Introverted Expat Traveling the World.”
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