The expat blues…

Kanazawa Market

One thing I noticed with myself when I was living in Japan and various other expats arriving in Zürich at my work, is that after a few months, they suffer from the expat blues. There is probably a proper term for this, with some literature about it.

The phenomenon is not that complex: when you arrive in a new country, everything is new, the simplest things are an adventure – I was very proud when I bought my first umbrella in Japan. The situation is stressful, but you are making progress, learning things, adapting. After two to three months, you can handle the basics: shopping, moving around and you have a very rough understanding on how things work. There is no excitement anymore, you have done most things multiple times, but there is still a lot of friction, nothing is natural.

I have the feeling many of us are reaching this stage with the current situation: the initial excitement is gone, but there is still a lot friction in everyday life, and it is clear it will take months for the situation to stabilise, and for us to get used to it.

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