Being An Expat: It’s Totally Worth It

As I already said living abroad, for work or for studying, is not all rainbows and unicorns. But now I’ll talk to you about the positive and exciting part, why being an expat is amazing, and how many things you realize and experience… trust me, it’s totally worth the initial struggle!

Here are the reasons why:


If I think about the amount of people I’ve met during these 2 years…it’s crazy! At parties, at uni, in hostels, while taking a tour…at home! But the amazing thing is that each of these friendships has left me something, maybe a memory living together, a talk, a dinner, a travel… the list could go on and on. Of course there are people who I had the opportunity to know better and others which I barely remember their names (well okay I’m really bad at remembering names ;p).
In particular, I distinguish three type of people:
Those who, when we met, sparked a triggered, as if we were old friends. These are also the people that despite the distance, despite the jet lag and life circumstances are still part of my life, we skype a lot and thanks to facebook or social media we are always updated about each other lives. [To specify: these people are not many but VERY special!]

Those who you spend nice time with and you have memorable moments when you think about them, but after that the friendship didn’t really continue.  Yeah you see on Facebook how they’re doing, maybe like some pics, but not really talk to them.

– The people whose exact face or name you can’t remember, but they still left you something. For example these 3 Australian guys my friends and I met during our stay in Hamburg… I still remember all the adventures they told us about, and the glow they had in their eyes while talking.


Looking for a place to stay without being in that country, or being able to see the apartment, with no understanding about how the transportation works or which is the best subscription for you. How to register at your city district office (and actually, first figuring out where the city district office is!)…. It’s not easy at all! But, the positive thing is that you’ll learn how to handle bureaucratic-annoying stuff, and how to solve problems (and these are things that in life will always come up). So know how to deal with them, and even more, have the self-confidence to handle them, it’s a huge advantage that you’ll realize you’re lucky to have!


Well, let’s talk about living by yourself in a new country, or not necessarily a new country, even just a new city, where you have to figure out how things work and what the local customs are. You have to be open and ready to change your habits, and maybe learn new ways to approach things. Maybe at the beginning you’ll struggle, or maybe you even won’t like it, but after a while you’ll realise how good it was to go out of your “usual schemes” and try something different. In addition to this, when getting to know new people and cultures you’ll realize how so many stereotypes are wrong, and how some of them are totally right. For example, yes, Belgian people are totally obsessed with beer. Also, you’ll learn to accept and not judge things that at home you won’t normally see. For example, I’m not shocked any more when seeing people cutting spaghetti to eat it 😀 (okay well, I still have a little heart-attack each time I see this but way less than before… 😉 ) because at the same time people are shocked seeing you doing other things (for example when I use olive oil and not dressing to season my salad 😀 )


THIS IS A BIIIIG POINT. Meeting people from different countries = tasting food from different countries = be ready to buy a new pair of pants in a larger size 🙂 No really, after trying real Chinese food or authentic peanut butter, I realized how not at all the Chinese food and peanut butter I bought in Italy were similar to the original one! And not only do you have the possibility to taste awesome food, you can often even learn how to make it! I still can’t believe that in Denmark I made my first sushi (and yes, it was actually good!).
Plus, international dinners, or in general eating a meal with someone, are always a good idea to meet new people and learn different taste and habits 😉


Another positive aspect about meeting new people, who are maybe also living in a place different from their home town, is that it often leads to sharing each other’s “where to go” list. Sometimes the places match, especially if they are near the country you’re living in, and in no time you’ll find yourself organising a trip with them to a new undiscovered place! The excitement related to discovering a new place is always a big motivation to go somewhere as soon as possible for a traveller, and imagine when the travellers are 2 or 3!! 😉 I went to Berlin with my Turkish and American friends that I met in Denmark, and then to Ireland with my Canadian friend who I met in England. It’s so crazy when you think about it but I honestly couldn’t have found better travel mates! 🙂


What about you? Have you ever lived abroad? Which was your favourite part about it? I’d love to hear your experience!

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  • Reply ll

    Weird. I had to come to your home page to comment. Anyhow, I really enjoyed this post. I lived in Thailand for 5 years and all the people I met are now apart of my existence. No matter if I don’t remember them or still keep in contact with them. Each story of theres or memories we made together gets put into the memory box, in a place inside myself. And it affects and alters my being. No matter how small. Such a cool concept eh!

    is there any way i can comment without entering my email address? I’m so confused!

    03/06/2016 at 15:23
    • Reply Lisa Tiranti

      I’m glad you could relate! Yes, I agree it completely changes you!
      Btw Sorry for the late reply but I had problems with my laptop 🙁
      About the email…I think it’s necessary if you want to receive the answer notification 🙂

      14/06/2016 at 21:03
  • Reply Sharon

    Wow this sounds amazing. I think we all could use an eye-opening experience.

    03/06/2016 at 15:55
    • Reply Lisa Tiranti

      Thanks Sharon! Yes, I totally agree!
      Sorry for the late reply but I had problems with my laptop 🙁

      14/06/2016 at 21:01
  • Reply Debbie

    Thank you, Lisa! I moved from LA to NY last year, and I relate to much of what you say above. Especially about the self-confidence and the people. A blessing, isn’t it? Have a wonderful weekend.

    03/06/2016 at 16:42
    • Reply Lisa Tiranti

      I’m so happy to read this! I’m glad you can relate 🙂 Yes, it’s a real blessing!!

      14/06/2016 at 21:01
  • Reply Plant-Based, World Bound

    I love this! I’m so excited to move abroad later this year

    03/06/2016 at 19:11
    • Reply Lisa Tiranti

      Thanks!! Oh good luck! It will be amazing!! Where are you moving??
      Sorry for the late reply but I had problems with my laptop 🙁

      14/06/2016 at 21:00
  • Reply megha

    You have put down your experience in such a interesting manner.

    03/06/2016 at 19:23
  • Reply Mallory

    I’ve studied abroad once, it was only a little over a week. So I can’t say a lot in comparison. However, it was amazing to see another culture, how they act differently, different foods, and the beautiful places to see. I definitely want to do it again.

    04/06/2016 at 9:39
    • Reply Lisa Tiranti

      Glad to read this, I agree with you: it’s so open minding!
      Thanks for sharing your opinion Mallory 🙂 Sorry for the late reply but I had problems with my laptop 🙁

      14/06/2016 at 20:58
  • Reply Layla

    Such a lovely post – a lot of people assume that living abroad is better but sometimes it’s harder yet the results are more rewarding!

    Lovely post!

    Layla xx

    04/06/2016 at 12:16
    • Reply Lisa Tiranti

      Yes I totally agree! Thanks for reading Layla!
      Sorry for the late reply but I had problems with my laptop 🙁

      14/06/2016 at 20:56
  • Reply justherworld

    I can relate to your thoughts! For me the greatest part of living abroad, as a student in Italy (I come from Greece) was the self confidence you gain when you get through the every day details, the struggle of finding an apartment, doing all the burocracy things right etc. After that, you know you can do many things! ☺

    04/06/2016 at 17:46
    • Reply Lisa Tiranti

      Yes right?! I’m glad you could relate! Thank you for reading and commenting! 🙂
      Sorry for the late reply but I had problems with my laptop 🙁

      14/06/2016 at 20:56
  • Reply Lara Garvie

    I feel you on the food! Nothing better than finding a new favourite snack to munch on. So far in Norway I´ve discovered the wonders of salted licorice and lefsa xx

    07/06/2016 at 22:03
    • Reply Lisa Tiranti

      Ahhh glad you could relate! Thank you for reading and commenting Lara 🙂 Sorry for the late reply but I had problems with my laptop 🙁

      14/06/2016 at 20:53
      • Reply Lara Garvie

        Oh no problem Lisa! I actually never got a message to say that you replied? Something´s off hey

        15/06/2016 at 17:12
  • Reply Valerie

    Awesome points! I have never lived abroad but I would love to some day. x

    08/06/2016 at 22:27
  • Reply Christina

    Thank your for your lovely comments on my blog! Having checked yours out I am glad we have connected. I am always excited to connect with expats! Having grown up in America, I will be emigrating to France soon and even though it is where my mom and her family is from, and I’ve been there, it is still such a drastic change. I love hearing other’s adventures of living abroad and I look forward to hearing more of your stories.

    17/06/2016 at 20:32
    • Reply Fromdreamtoplan

      Hi Christina! Thank you for your nice comment! I’m glad we found each other too and I’m happy you liked this post!
      I wish you best luck for your new adventure and I’m looking forward to reading about it! 😉

      17/06/2016 at 20:39
  • Reply iamioana

    Hi Lisa,
    Nice to meet you. After your comment I am here, and I am glad I am, I like your style and the way you designed your blog. We will ” meet ” again 😀

    27/06/2016 at 9:23
  • Reply Águeda

    I’m thinking about living in Europe for a while now (I’m from Brazil), and I just have to say: olive oil is essential in a salad. HAHA
    Also, people cutting spaghetti? OMG
    But discovering new awesome places really seem to pay off these heart attacks. And the histories you’ll have to tell… Thanks! It was very encouraging to me. 🙂

    01/07/2016 at 15:58
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      Wow that would be an awesome experience for you!
      Ahh yes I totally feel you! hahaha
      I’m happy it was useful, thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      01/07/2016 at 17:04
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  • Reply Bel

    I thought I was independent until I travelled abroad for school. Three years down the line and adulthood has been one bumpy ride. I didn’t know it was called ‘expat’. I love schooling abroad and I’ve had to experience life all on my own. It’s the best feeling. Now, I’m truly truly independent.

    03/04/2017 at 1:14
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