|Never underestimate friendship|
Photo by Stuart Seeger
Having a Partner
Going to another country with a partner can be harder to pull off logistically, but it does help to ease the loneliness. However, it can bring its own set of problems. I knew an American woman in London who was thinking about divorcing her American husband because he wanted to stay and she missed her friends. As you read more expat stories, you'll find that this is not unusual.
If you're going to go somewhere new, make a plan for how you're going to build up your new social circle. If its citizens/residents have good internet connections, you can often find online forums where you can contact some of them in advance. I've found that just posting and saying "I'm here and I want to meet people" will usually result in an offer or two of people willing to meet up for coffee or show you around. Even if you ordinarily would not share a house, maybe it's time to think about it. If you have new colleagues, make an effort to be friendly to them. Get to know the local politics, history and culture and your new-found acquaintances will appreciate the fact that you've taken the trouble to learn about their culture (a couple of times I found I knew more than the locals. It's poor form to let them know this).
|How do I explain this delicious abomination|
to my French wife who loves fine food?
Photo by Matt MacGillivray
However, if you need further convincing that you should mix with the locals in addition to expats, as one person explained to me: "as an expat, your friends tend to be expats. This means all your friends leave in the end."