Choosing to haul stakes and move to another country is a bold decision that requires a lot of planning and a bit of courage. It’s not easy, after all, to leave the comfort of the familiar and strike out into the great unknown. But often the lure of the brave new world is so enticing than an adventurer will soon find himself wandering the streets of a new land while listening to the cadences of the new language.
Why You Should Carry a Large Map While Going Abroad?
So, how long will the expats live in this new country? Is this just an extended vacation, or are there plans for a longer stay? According to a recent study of expats, about 5% plan on returning to their home country in less than a year. A larger percentage, which included a lot of students studying abroad, planned on returning within five years (18%.) But nearly a third of respondents believed that the move was going to be a permanent one and that they intended to stay forever. And about one-fifth or expats stated that they weren’t sure how long they wanted to stay, but it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that they would stay permanently, too.
Maps in Foreign Countries
For expats who’ve decided to make the move—whether it’s for a brief stay or for a much longer relocation—the first few weeks are a blur of learning new streets, new habits, new cuisine, new transportation. It’ll feel like you’re constantly clutching train schedules, maps of downtown neighborhoods, up-to-date currency quotes, and handy language guides with translations. Getting used to a new culture takes some time and effort, and it’ll probably help if you know some other expats in the area that you’re now calling home. But there’s another helpful tip for you to consider in making those first few weeks a little less crazy: Get yourself a big map
Why Maps Are Better Than Cell Phones?
Although there’s no denying that navigational apps on your cellphone can be immensely helpful in getting familiar with new environments, there are some clear drawbacks to their usage. First of all, it’s not really such a great idea to be chained to your cellphone when exploring a fascinating new destination. There are so many things you can be missing out on, visually, and it’s a bit of a safety issue to have your attention so easily diverted in an unfamiliar landscape. You should keep your cell phone on you at all times, of course, but it’s much preferable to rely on your senses when discovering the particularities of a new city. And let’s be frank—it’s a lot more fun that way, too.
Large Map As Decoration
You’ve obviously done a lot of research into this new country you’re moving into, and you probably have somewhat of an idea about how to get around. Your next step is to really take some time in studying the layout of your new city, including having a working knowledge of the city streets, transportation systems, and local neighborhoods. And the best way to learn about your city is by getting some large-sized, high-quality print maps to put on the walls of your new house or apartment.
A Large Map of Your City, No Matter Where It Is
A large map gives the best vantage point to learn the intricacies of the new location, from downtown streets to government centers to major points of interest. High-quality city and country maps from Maptrove.com, the online map retailer, give detailed looks at specific areas of interest in whatever location you’ve decided upon. Maptrove.com has an extensive inventory of maps of cities from all over the world, including most of the major metropolitan areas, and the maps are offered in a variety of sizes, styles, and finishes.
Even before you get on the plane, though, it’s a good idea to do a bit of preparatory geographical study of your new climes. While it’s impossible to fully anticipate how you’ll manage the streets, trains, and buses in your adventure, having a basic understanding of the city’s layout will be of immense use in those first weeks.
And it’s not a bad idea to create a customizable map of your home and surroundings. Maptrove.com also offers the option for customers to create a personalized map of their immediate location. By simply zeroing in on the area of a large map on Maptrove.com’s web site, it’s possible for expats to crop and center the exact address and build a customized map of their neighborhood, making understanding the new region a bit less daunting.
Maps When Living Abroad: How Will it Help With Homesickness?
According to the 2017 Expat Insider study, there are numerous reasons why people choose to live in another country. Some of the most common reasons include career advancement or job relocation, maintaining a personal relationship, seeking adventure or a higher quality of life, or studying at a university.
While there are many different factors that compel people to make the move, there is one thing that virtually all expats share in common, at one point or another: Homesickness.
Large Map of Your Home Country
No matter how bold and adventurous they may feel about their move, it’s inevitable for expats to miss their homeland every once in a while. Establishing a network of expats in the new country can help take away some of the stings of homesickness, and it’s a common occurrence in many international cities where a group of expats from clubs or societies that meet a few times every month.
And it’s not a bad idea to keep a large wall map of your home country in your new home as well. Maptrove.com has a vast inventory of country maps from all over the world, including specific cities and regions, and a number of maps of the United Kingdom. For expats lonesome for the home country, it’s reassuring to have a gentle reminder on your wall that shows some of your personal histories. And it’s a subtle way to announce to new acquaintances and colleagues who are visiting your new home a little bit about who you are and where you are from.
It’s interesting to note that when expats return to their homeland, they often report a sense of “reverse” homesickness—nearly 53% of expats back in their home country now say that they miss living abroad. It’s a surprising fact that probably explains why some people can only feel comfortable having dual citizenship in two countries.
Consuls, Diplomats, and Embassy Employees
For those embarking on a career in diplomacy or foreign service, learning the ins and out of a new country is a mandatory skill. Understanding the culture of the new land is essential for the success of a tour of diplomatic duty. Consuls and diplomats typically spend two years in a new land, and so being able to quickly process the new details of their latest assignment is of the utmost importance.
Having a high-quality large map available for perusal is essential for foreign service employees to quickly learn the landscape of their current station. Maptrove.com specializes in having large-sized wall maps of all the major international cities, including the cities where the United States government currently has embassies. It’s customary in American embassies to display large, up-to-date, print maps that show the many dimensions of the host country.
Historical Maps to Document the Past
Being away from your home country can be dislocating for expats, and one of the most difficult-to-replace feelings for expats is not seeing daily reminders of your country’s history. It’s not just the land, and the family and friends, and the cuisine that people miss when they’re abroad. It’s also the shared past of their country, the specific markers, and landmarks that tell a story about the country that is so unique and treasured.
For expats, it’s not a bad idea to pick up some historical maps of locations and sites that bring a particular resonance to those living abroad. Having a daily reminder of some of the most epochal events in your country’s history on your walls can help eliminate some of those bittersweet feelings of estrangement. A large map of battle sites, of historical trading routes, of major cities as they change over time—all these maps can help expats remember the singular events that have helped shaped their country’s history. And Maptrove.com maintains a strong selection of historical maps that highlight the achievements and accomplishments of many of the countries of the world.
Leaving Home? Maps as Decorations
For those who have decided to take their chances by moving to a new country, there are always going to be contrasting emotions. Excitement for the adventure that is in front of them, to be sure, but also a sense of bittersweet loss over the homeland that they are leaving. But for however long they plan to stay in the new country—a year, two years, maybe a lifetime—it’s important to remember that every great journey begins with a single step and a map.