The Expectation and Reality of Living Abroad

When moving abroad, we have many expectations of what our life will be in this new foreign land, but the reality of the situation is usually quite different.

Expectation: Finding an apartment will be like real life International House Hunters!


Reality: It will be a fight to the death in the jungle that is foreign languages and currencies.


Expectation: Making friends will be easy! Let’s go to the pub and get chummy!


Reality: I am alone in a foreign country and trying to talk to the locals makes me look desperate and creepy.


Expectation: Finding a job won’t be a problem.


Reality: I have zero references in this country.


Expectation: The measures in the pubs are smaller here. I’ll be better at holding my liquor.


Reality: Nope, nope nope. Still can’t do it.


Expectation: Cooking won’t be too bad.I’ve cooked for myself before.


Reality: Why is the oven in Celsius?


Expectation: I’m gonna find some really cute and funny local and fall in love and get married and have bilingual babies and live happily ever after listening to that accent everyday.


Reality: Every guy I go out with is just as sleazy as the ones back home. And that accent is only charming for so long. Wait, really though. What did you say? I can’t understand you.


Expectation: I’m going to travel to other countries in my free time and explore and be the next featured traveler in Nat Geo!


Reality: Does my job pay that well? And do I really get that much time off? No, no.. no.


Expectation: Americans are awesome! Everyone loves us.


Reality: Why are you being so hostile? Chill out bro.


Expectation: Don’t have the time to FaceTime today Mama. Gotta go out with my friends!


Reality: No, no plans tonight. Yeah, we can chat. Did you see the last episode of the Bachelor?


Expectation: I tell really great jokes. People will think I’m funny and want to be friends.


Reality: No one gets the American sense of humor and takes offense to half the things I say.


Expectation: Driving at home was a piece of cake! This’ll just be like real life hot wheels or something.


Reality: Why the $#!@ is driving on the left side so hard!? STOP HONKING AT ME!!


Expectation: I can move abroad! People do it all the time!


Reality: This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But dammit, I’m having the time of my life.


Y’all should know I didn’t make a single one of these gifs and by no means claim rights to them. Thank you Hollywood for giving Tumlbr people great things to gif for the rest of us! 🙂

***!!! I didn’t even realize that this week’s Writing Challenge on the Daily Post was on Great Expectations!!! Check out their page for more talk on expectations from the story book that is life.


23 Replies to “The Expectation and Reality of Living Abroad”

  1. Loved this! Excellent selection of GIFs and also very very accurate representation of life abroad!


      1. Please let me know how it is! I will follow your blog for posts anyway but I would dearly love your front row feedback! 😀 (wish I was coming with you lol!!!!)


  2. Love your blog! Tres drole…and I know what you mean about that lyric Irish accent….And thanks for the follow.


  3. Boy, you hit the job-searching aspect of life abroad right on the nose! I came to Germany with a resume that has been labeled as “impressive” by more than one employer in the States. I thought, “Germans always need native English speakers. With my language skills and office knowledge, finding a job will be a cinch.” Several rejection letters later caused me to have to not only look at reality in the face, but be punched by it and walk away with 2 black eyes.


    1. Oh my gosh right?! It was so difficult at first. The good thing though is that I had a 7 month contract at a company while I was here. If I find myself back in Ireland, I will have at least one good reference here haha


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