of the simplest ways to fit in someplace new is by frequenting
the same shop every day. Take a common activity – such
as buying the newspaper, or getting a cup of coffee. By doing
this at the same café, or newsstand, the owner will
eventually recognize you. The sense of being known lends to
feeling at home.
new place home...
something of personal importance in a visible place within
your home. One of the fastest and easiest ways to make an
apartment or house feel like yours is to place something you’re
proud of – an award, a trophy, a favorite painting,
etc – in a spot you pass by every day. Seeing it will
remind you of an accomplishment, and is a visible sign of
Try new food...
can’t tell you how many weird things I’ve eaten,
almost as crazy as on “Survivor”! Trying new foods
will endear you to new friends, especially if you’re
invited to their home for dinner, and it will also make eating
locally a lot easier for you.
changing seasons to someplace that is always warm, or experiencing
a reversal in seasons, can have a huge impact. Research the
weather patterns of your host city. More important than wardrobe
and appliances, you will need to learn what activities one
does if there is a rainy season, for example, or get used
to Christmas being sunny.
you are relocating for a job, you may have to sit in a cube,
rather than an office. Perhaps you’re used to participating
in office gossip, and your new office culture doesn’t
tolerate it. Criteria for promotion may be vastly different
than what you’re accustomed to. Observe respected office
behavior, ask if you can’t figure it out, and make sure
you understand your new manager’s expectations. Your
success depends on your ability to adapt to the local work
care of yourself...
in a while, pamper yourself! If this means a massage or facial,
research the nearest and best spas. If it means a vacation,
find out the local getaways you can take advantage of for
a long weekend. You owe it to yourself to relax, and reward
yourself throughout your transition!
words about home...
Home is any
that enclose the person.
(Helen Rowland, 1909)
house is no home unless it contains food and fire
for the mind as well as for the body.
(Margaret Fuller, 1845)
Peace -- that
was the other name for home.
(Kathleen Norris, 1931)
I had to leave
so that I could find myself.
(Gloria Anzaldua, 1987)
homes you run from
and homes you run to.
(Laura Cunningham, 1989)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Learn more about Heather Markel at
and visit her blog at www.culturetransitionblog.com
where you’ll find tips, and videos about living in different
cultures around the world.