Ways to explore your new country this summer
Not going home for the summer? While many families who have relocated to a new country will take the opportunity to travel back to their home country during the summer, you might find yourself staying at your new home instead. And you may be thinking, “Now what?” The kids are out of school for the summer and will likely be looking for things to do! If you do not have children, perhaps you simply wish to take advantage of the nice weather and become more connected culturally to your new home.
Summer is the perfect time to learn more about the local culture and travel to different places while the weather is pleasant. Here are ways for you to stay busy and enjoy your new country:
- Check the local town hall or city government office for information about local offerings (in small towns, this is sometimes posted on a website or in the actual town office).
- Contact local international schools for recommendations on summer activities – they usually have extensive information about local events, clubs, groups and activities that are appealing to expat families. Many international schools also have resources for local expats on their websites.
- Check with a local tourism office to find cultural events in your area. They will be much more accessible during prime tourism season when towns want visitors to learn about their country. There should be more activities offered for foreigners during the summer, when tourism is at its peak. This also applies to destinations outside of the area where you live, if you have decided to travel.
- Connect with local expat groups if you have not done so already. Many groups organise activities and day trips to explore local places/culture. If expat groups from your home country are not available, you may seek out general international groups – the common language will most likely be English, but the members will be from many different countries and cultures, which will offer a broader experience.
- Ask colleagues and/or the HR department where you work for suggestions. In some countries, either the HR department or a committee of employees organises events and activities in which employees and their families can participate.
- Check with the town hall or recreation department (if there is one where you live) for a list of parks where you can spend more quality time outdoors in the nice weather.
- Meet and get to know locals who can enrich your expat experience. If you haven’t yet met your neighbours, good weather is the best time to do that when everyone is outside! You can casually say “hello” to those who live nearby, eventually building relationships. Typically, locals have the best “insider” ideas on things to do and see that most tourists will never experience! Make sure to read next month’s Global Transitions newsletter for tips on how to best meet your neighbours and make friends in your new country.
- Find helpful sites online, such as Global Explorer’s World Festivals by Month, to see what is happening in your country.
Take advantage of the summer season and get closer to the culture of where you live!