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How to Not Feel Like a Foreigner When Living in a Foreign Country

Living in a Foreign country

Is that what I should call Croatia, a foreign country?

I am happy living in Croatia. There is nothing that I would do to change this lifestyle. It has been a roller coaster ride for many years and sometimes, I think this ride has taught me a lot.

When I look at the rest of the world, I think how lucky I am to live in this place. Living in a foreign country is never easy. People change all the time, and the world has taken us by storm and yet everything in my life feels great.

I walked away from everything in my life and sacrificed everything that created that cushioned life I had. I do not regret what I left behind life is just that.

Life is taken for granted or never thought about carefully before making decisions can cause a frenzy. Well, I do not feel like a foreigner living in a foreign country. People look at me as a foreigner, but I do not feel that.

I have become part of a small community and love my life. Each day I spend as I want to, and speak to people when I want to.

Life here is different, but I have cleared my life and lived for my happiness. You can live in a foreign country and live as you wish. At first, I felt alone, unhappy and different.

The best things come to those who wait. You need to focus on what makes you happy. Mingle with the local people and get on with your life. In the process, consider your meaning in life.

Find a bit of your home right where you are living at. Do not keep yourself out of conversations. Meet local people and create a friendly community with daily chats.

The situation changes when you realize people have become close to you. You begin a new life with different people in your life.

Do not be afraid to let other caring people in your life. When you are settled in everything starts to feel good again.

Do not feel like you are a foreigner in your foreign country. I know what it is like to live in a foreign country and to feel like a foreigner.

  • There is a way for you to build your life and be who you are.
  • A role to play and have both cultures in your life.
  • You improve in this life as you go along each day.
  • Make friends and have an open mind about life.
  • Approach each day with a smile.
  • An experience that increases your chances of living another lifestyle.

You make everything seem possible in your adventures.

Remember, you belong in a foreign country as you do in your birth country. You have the same rights as every other citizen. In time you grow and learn with the local people that you too have a place.

In your heart, you do not feel left out of functions. Learn about the new culture and participate in events. It is different, but you can go out and meet people. The process feels difficult when you do not make an effort to meet people.

Get involved in groups and share your opinions and stories. International people shouldn’t avoid mingling with the local people.

You need to be part of a community locally, instead of having a focus to mingle with internationals do your best and mingle with the local people.

Most locals are open-minded in getting to know internationals.

I have observed local people and know there are introverts and extroverts. It is nothing to be closed off from others, you too can be that way or put yourself out there and get on with your life. Be willing to share your life with different people.

In a different culture, it would feel unknown.

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In my opinion, living in a foreign country and trying to not feel like a Foreigner when living in a Foreign Country hasn’t been easy. It depends on the individual and not on what others think of you.

Feel comfortable in a foreign country by making yourself the focus. Explore the new country with a local guide. Get to know about a new culture. Communication is key when in a foreign country.

Get in touch with the local people and communicate about any information required. You need to form a support network to seek advice.

Learn everything you need to know, from the beginning of your stay there. If you are in a foreign country to learn a foreign language, it would be a process.

Language may or may not be the issue. There is often something that would create a setback. If so, learn from any mistake.

It sounds fun to chat with internationals like you, but that won’t allow you to do what is best for you. You speak the same language and would feel it better to be an international, but won't be the best of options.

Most importantly, you need a local circle of friends. Do not make focus to mingle with internationals. You need to know what has changed your life and to get that into your life from a different angle.

Try new adventures to make your life happier and more creative. To get your mind off back home, get out and find what works best for you.

Discover what you are capable of in your new country. An opportunity to learn about yourself.

Allow for spending time with new friends, exploring new towns, trying different activities, and checking your new neighbourhood.

Put aside homesick emotions. It doesn’t mean you won’t feel homesick, but at least you would not have homesickness as your main focus.

Avoid feeling lonely, make simple conversations with the local people. Do not put yourself in that position to feel out of place or isolated from the local community. There will be stress, you have to make adjustments.

Do not think it would be the same as back home. A foreign country has a lot to offer and is different from your hometown. Your decision to move to a foreign country could be hasty or well-planned.

Prepare yourself for what you have not experienced in a foreign country. No matter what guidebook you have read or who told you whatever to make you feel less stressed.

There is nothing like moving to a foreign country for the first time and living there. Also not know the culture or the language. Your first move and you want everything to be perfect. Do not look for perfection you will not find that.

Be patient!

It is up to you to make your home in a foreign country. When you get established in meeting people and enjoying your life and experiences in a foreign country, one day you would realize you have accomplished your goals.

You become independent, know what the locals do and move on with your life. New beginnings are harder and they can only get better thereafter.

Living Abroad

Views from my home and from a small town


Foreigners living abroad

Expat living in Croatia

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Devika Primić


Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 09, 2021:

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

I had not been to Croatia before I came to live here and challenges I experienced had taught me to be stronger and more on the positive side. Thank you

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on February 08, 2021:

I really admire how you have embraced Croatia wholeheartedly. Particularly, I love the part where you said that it is better to make friends with locals than with other nationals. Because the latter is the easier thing to do, but becoming friends with the locals is the enriching part of the entire experience of calling a new country home.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 29, 2020:

Adrienne Farricelli This depends on the situation and is not the same for everyone. I appreciate you sharing your experience it is a challenge. Sometimes one chooses to live abroad for work or as you have mentioned about your time in Germany. I chose to live in Croatia for freedom, and for marrying a Croatian. So pleased to you stopped by thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 29, 2020:

Umesh Chandra Bhatt Thank you for stopping by

Adrienne Farricelli on August 29, 2020:

Living in a foreign country takes a lot of adjustment and culture shock is often expected. We lived overseas in Germany when my husband was in the Army and I was working for a military installation. I found the language difficult to understand, but as time went by, we adjusted just fine and I still miss the time spent there.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 28, 2020:

Useful article. One has to learn new ways to live in a foreign country.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 27, 2020:

Marlene Bertrand Good to read a comment from you. It is important to read feedback from supporters here makes the community feel pleased. Thank you for an encouraging comment.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on August 26, 2020:

This is a wonderful article. You have pointed out a lot of interesting facts and tips to help people cope and settle into living in a country that is not their original country. I think the overall tool for living in a foreign country is that people have to have the right attitude and your article helps people develop just that - the right attitude.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 25, 2020:

Mel Carriere, ''I would not try to force my own language and ideas upon them.'' Well said and neither should they force their language and ideas upon foreigners. I had that and it sort of pushed me to one side. Most never understood anything about my life. Thank you very much for sharing your opinion. Always appreciated.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on August 25, 2020:

I have never lived in a foreign country, but anything is possible. If I did, I would try to learn the language and appreciate the culture of the locals as quickly as I could. I would not try to force my own language and ideas upon them.

You give a lot of great tips here, all derived from your vast experience.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 24, 2020:

Hi Dora, it has been a while hope all is good with you? I am so glad you stopped by. I believe in a positive attitude and is the only way for me. Thank ou very much for sharing your comment.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 24, 2020:

Devika, I like this statement. "There is often something that would create a setback. If so, learn from any mistake." You have the ability to adjust and move on. That's great. Thanks for sharing the facts and the views.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 24, 2020:

Rajan Singh Jolly thank you and so true. It is all about being art of a community by participating in events that one can learn from in a foreign country.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 23, 2020:

A very motivating article full of practical ideas for anyone wishing to settle down in a foreign country. Learning the local language and getting to know its culture and participating in their customs is truly important in getting accepted and feeling at home.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 23, 2020:

Denis I agree with you. ''Why should we be any different when we live there?'' This also depends on the situation. As in my case, I moved to Croatia, have never here before I came to live here making it extremely difficult to be part of a culture and to speak the language, Thank you for sharing your experience.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 22, 2020:

I know the key for me was trying to learn the language in Spain when I lived there. So many of the American military families refused to even try to speak Spanish and it seemed rude to me. When people come here to America we expect them to learn English. Why should we be any different when we live there? Once I began trying to speak the language, even though I got a few frowns and confused looks, mostly the locals laughed at my broken Spanish and loved me for trying. They wanted to help me all the more for my efforts. Isn't that what it is all about?



Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 21, 2020:

Bill Holland thank you for comments it is something I had to do and now loving my new lifestyle.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 21, 2020:

Lorna Lamon you are so kind to leave a comment. I believe that I can do anything I want, but in my time. Life isn't always the same and changes are inevitable. Thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 21, 2020:

Pamela Oglesby I had many challenges and learned to speak one of the most difficult language. I am happy and positive about my life. Thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 21, 2020:

Chitrangada Sharan thank you for a kind and encouraging comment

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 21, 2020:

Hi Peggy Woods I like the place where I am living it is quiet and crime free something that I did not have in my country. A different lifestyle, but more amazing to be able to not be concerned if the doors are locked. Thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 21, 2020:

Hi Liz thank you for stopping by

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 21, 2020:

FlourishAnyway It depends on the reasons for moving as well. Thank you for sharing your views here.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 20, 2020:

From moving around extensively within my own country I know how hard it can be to adjust to new localities but a whole new country isn’t what I would ever want to do for an extended period. Good for you that you could withstand the challenge.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 20, 2020:

I really appreciate your focus on mixing and intigrating with the locals.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 20, 2020:

I admire your upbeat attitude regarding the adjustment necessary when living in a foreign country. The photos you share with us are gorgeous! I have only visited foreign countries on vacations and have never lived in them.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 20, 2020:

Eighteen years is a long time. But, I believe people get accustomed, and familiar as the time passes by.

I don’t know how I would feel, in similar situations, but I feel happy for you.

In fact, if you have love, friendship, and a purpose in life, you can adjust even in different circumstances.

Thanks for sharing your personal experiences. It will be motivating for many, who are in similar situations.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 20, 2020:

If anyone can discuss this topic, it is you. You have been there for 18 years and love it, so that says a lot. I'm sure the change is difficult.

I have never lived in anther country, just is different states. That is not the same. I think this is an excellent, very interesting article, Devika. You are truly a success story.

Lorna Lamon on August 20, 2020:

This is a wonderful article and I feel that when you live in a different country, if you don't make a real effort, then you will be lonely. I lived in Tuscany where I do have family, however, my Italian wasn't great and it took me a while before I was truly accepted.

I also think if you have the right mindset and are willing to embrace a different culture you will succeed. I am glad you feel at home in this beautiful part of the world Devika.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 20, 2020:

Good for you! I'm not sure I could do what you did. I have moved to different state here in the U.S., but everyone spoke the same language and basically had the same culture. But a foreign country would be a hard challenge, I would think. Very interesting article!

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