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How to Create a New Life in a Foreign Country

Devika enjoys sharing her work with a friendly community. Writing opens the mind. I live in a foreign country learned a foreign language .

Living in a Foreign country

Writing about my experiences, and sharing what I know best on various topics has increased my knowledge in researching new topics.

I married my husband and moved to his place of birth and felt everything I had, and everyone I had known had vanished from my life. Nobody understood my side of the story in a foreign country. I started to feel unhappy and didn’t have friends nor did I want to be with anyone. The move created unhappiness and I felt alone in a foreign country.

How do I deal with such an experience?

We have a son together and I do not know how to go about my days in this new place. I could not meet with local people because of the language barrier.

The other reason that barricaded my life is the culture, and people weren’t keen to meet a stranger in the small community. Those who were curious met me and stepped away.

I have discussed my feelings with my husband At times he agreed and on occasion turned a deaf ear to my concerns about living in his birth country. I considered many issues in my life and decided to form a new life to focus on what makes me happiest.

Our son attending the local school wasn’t impressive for learning, especially for a foreign student. English is not the native language, making it difficult to communicate with local people. It takes a while to meet people when language is a barrier.

I met people in a foreign circle group, but that did not please me. It is not what I wanted to do with myself. Isolating from the local people was not my idea of learning a new life in a foreign country. I found what interests me and moved on with that in my life.

Access to the Internet gave me the opportunity to write and share my experiences with an audience. I found myself happier and coped with daily experiences in confidence. The new lifestyle set in and I connected with others easily. I approached this through my feelings and my husband. He was born there.

I am a familiar face through smiling and following a routine. Mostly, because my husband is a well-known person in the small community everybody knows everybody else. There is no escape from this friendly and hospitable family.

It took some time to get to where I am right now!

I only needed one person to speak my language to be able to have a connection to share my differences and experiences with, and I found her while at a church service.

I felt at home the moment I met her and shared my difficult times with her. It has been quite an adjustment, but my interests made it possible to be happy and confident in my new beginning in Croatia.

I tried meeting up with groups from a foreign circle, meeting up with people for coffee, and having meals together.

It felt good, but I am not for it. I prefer to be on my own and do what makes me happy. I have become a different person and I like that. As a couple, this experience turned a lot around for me in a good way.

We moved away and were too impatient then. Everything takes time and I didn’t think of how much time it would take. I realized all the fuss I made and had to at that time.

It was a rash decision to do with a family. I had not researched anything about Croatia just other people’s words for granted and packed our bags and left. The language was a barrier for a few years.

How did I comprehend all of this?

The time allowed me a lot of pain and thinking about my rash decision. Arriving in Autumn and expecting everything to be fine when it was nowhere close to that. I felt alone and miserable.

I had to constantly feel pressured in visiting family and had no communication. The pressure was about being in a room filled with the local people and listening to their loud conversations on many occasions, I sat there wondering about my life.

Being speechless in a room with no conversation for hours on had made me most unhappy. I couldn’t do that anymore, it would have ruined me. Months passed by and I tried to get this out in the open to my husband but to no avail.

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I figured that I had to stop visiting family to learn the language and do this on my own. Socializing put me in better mood people speak the same language as me.

Outdoors changed my attitude to focus on my life. Something I had to and could only do when I had a job. Six years later, after the final paperwork, I got what I had been waiting for my citizenship.

This got me my first job in Croatia. I was happy to work, earn some cash and grow into a strong individual. Communication in the Croatian language came to me with no hassle.

I understood the language for three years before speaking and that was difficult to comprehend.

I didn’t think it would be a problem to work my first job. Unfortunately, it was a seasonal job and lasted four months. I had to leave this job, it got harder and not many employees understood me.

However, the experience put me forward in speaking the language and learning both the old and new Croatian words. I had fun and enjoyed the experience since it was my first ever experience to have worked in a foreign country.

She is an angel!

Our move to a foreign country as it is to me and has been with my husband since he had not lived in Croatia for forty years, has made us see how our lives have changed together.

We lived eight kilometers away from my parents. As much as we thought of moving out of the Republic of South Africa when crime worsened, I had never imagined how everything would affect me.

Culture shock, starting life again from nothing, and to deal with foreign people, and the challenges I never thought I would be capable of coping with had surprised me. I was lonely at times, but nothing that could create a depressing life.

The whole time I missed my family, the good times we had together and so much of my past life affected me. I had no idea where I was going, who I would meet, where I would live, and what would I do for myself to earn some cash to survive in a different part of the world.

I left my comfort zone for marriage and tried to find something to fill that lonely gap I had for a long time. Everything I did for myself, I enjoyed it and have become my own self. It proved to me I can cope with any challenge at any time.

Beautiful views from my home


Life in Croatia

Foreign country adventures

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 November 06, 2020:

Tery Peta thank you very much for sharing your comment always appreciated

Tory Peta on November 05, 2020:

A lovely read, thanks for sharing. There can be many difficulties with moving to a foreign country, but you have succeeded at overcoming them. I am happy that you enjoy Croatia.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 22, 2020:

Hi Dale I have explored my new surroundings, learned one of the most difficult languages and remained positive throughout living in a foreign country. I have always been positive and every experience in Croatia has made me stronger. Happiness is from within. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 20, 2020:

Devika I have moved a few times (and by that I mean I have lived in a lot of different countries over the years) and learning how to adapt can be hard. I think the trick is to stay positive and actually do things. Sitting at home has never worked for me, I have to get out and explore my new surroundings.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 31, 2020:

Adrienne Farricelli Thank you very much for sharing your opinion. I certainly aced it and love where I am.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 31, 2020:

MG Singh emge I moved to Croatia after marriage so it wasn't a choice of where to go, but this has taught me lots and I am sure others in similar situations would learn from my work. Thank you for supporting me.

Adrienne Farricelli on August 30, 2020:

Thank you for sharing your experience of adjusting in a foreign country. It can be challenging, but I think it's up to us to make the best about a situation and it looks like you have aced it. I enjoyed reading your words of wisdom and always love to see the pretty scenery of your surroundings.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on August 29, 2020:

Devika , nice sentimental post. Made good reading but in case I have to go and settle I would chose a place where English is spoken.I am now in Singapore and was earlier in UAE;absolutely at home. That's a personal choice, but I admire your courage and ability to adjust.

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

Sally Gulbrandsen Great to hear from you. Hope you are well. I know it is about that just so pleased to be in the place I am in right now, positive, as always and just happy to be in a crime free country. Thank you

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on August 29, 2020:

Having done a similar thing to you but without the language barrier, I know how much courage it must have taken for you to move to Croatia. It is so good to hear that after your long struggle to gain acceptance you now feel content and are happy. This is really is what it is all about and I am so happy for you.

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

Mary Norton I have done what not many could do in a foreign country. I know of people who have come here and failed to stay due to paper issues. I often think how courageous I am to be in a place as Croatia, I feel safe and happy. To me, that's what matters. Thank you

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

Pamela Oglesby I had to write about my experience to make me feel better though it all. Every time I wrote about my experience I felt happier and got that off my mind. I always looked at my life in a positive way and there was no other way about my life.

Thank you

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

Bill Holland thank you for stopping by I appreciate your kind comment.

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

Liz Thank you for comments. There are foreigners moving abroad and depending where they off to this would help others in similar situations. Glad you made that point. It is never easy to move to a foreign country and to think only about the past and wish it could be the same. I thought about my past for longtime before I actually moved on and that isn't a good thought to be stuck in.

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

Peggy Woods You are right! I have created a life for me to be happy and to do what makes me feel that way. Thank you

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

Hi Eric You have been on this journey and writing here 8 years about my experiences has improved tremendously. Thank you

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

Hi Linda It was tough and finally I have accepted my life here through all times. Thank you

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

sowspeaks Thank you for sharing your encouraging comment. I had it tough and worked through my life here to be in the place I am right now. I appreciate your time.

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

FlourishAnyway, thank you very much for sharing your side of it here. I will not move anywhere else. My life is in Croatia. Each time I visited back home in SA I didn't feel safe and didn't feel safe to stay longer it just not what I want to do is go back and live in fear. Different circumstances have created this way of life for me. As much as I miss my life back home as I did in the beginning I wouldn't go back to live there. I prefer this new lifestyle and happy with it. I have finally accepted it.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 29, 2020:

What a difficult journey. I currently live one mile from my parents after having moved all over the US for my career and education. It was hard living apart from family (and I didn’t have language and culture barriers like you did!). When holidays, special events, or situations like family emergencies (funerals or illnesses) rolled around I felt isolated. When I was sick I felt especially alone. When I had a child, I really missed not having the support of my mom right there. I cannot imagine the strength it required of you to pull through this, dear Devika. Will you ever move somewhere else? I moved back home because I missed my family and missed the Southern US.

sowspeaks from Bengaluru on August 29, 2020:

Hi Devika, thank you pouring your heart out on something that is so close to your heart. I could feel the pain in the early years of this move and sense the loneliness and finally to decisions that you took to be where you are.

So happy that you finally found your place under the sun. Much love.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 28, 2020:

I think it was wonderful that you met someone at church who spoke your language. That must have been a big comfort. I'm glad that you're now enjoying life in Croatia.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 28, 2020:

Very impressive. I have gone through this and you did a great job. I feel like I have been with you on this journey through your writings.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 28, 2020:

Moving to a new place without understanding the language would be very difficult. Changing locations, even when the language is the same, can offer challenges. I am glad to know that you adjusted and that you are now happy. The photos of your surroundings are beautiful.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 28, 2020:

Thank you for sharing your experiences to help others who might find themselves in a similar position. This articles also gives an insight into the position of a foreigner so that locals can understand a little.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2020:

I'm much too old to consider doing what you did, but it's fascinating to read about it. Well done, you!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 28, 2020:

I think you are a very strong woman. I like that you have made this change in a way that changed you in a positive way. I think all major changes in our lives probably change us significantly. I am glad you wrote about your experience, Devika.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 28, 2020:

You are truly brave, Devika. You got through the most difficult part of your new life. I am glad it is better for you now. It does take time to adjust, especially to a new culture. But you've done it.

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