Cultural Adjustments

When you move to a new country, where nothing is known and familiar, your routines get mightily disrupted. Suddenly, nothing is routine. The loss of routine means the time and energy that was available for higher order, more sophisticated tasks now goes to basic coping and survival functions. With the minutiae of everyday life now demanding much of your conscious attention (these higher order functions) either get put aside or take much longer to accomplish.
The loss of routine hits you at your core. You expect to have to learn how to do new things overseas and even new ways of doing familiar things, but you may be surprised to discover that you have to learn to do things you normally do without thinking.
The problem with routines is that until you?ve reestablished them, you can have a very low opinion of yourself. If something this simple can be so difficult, then what am I going to do about something that?s genuinely difficult?
As you face the difficulties of your early months abroad, you will need the kind of unconditional acceptance and support only close friends and family members can provide; you need people who will listen to your tirades about the country and the natives without judging, people with whom you can fall apart without being embarrassed or worrying about what they might think. Your spouse may be available for this purpose, of course, but he or she may be looking to you for the same support. Whenever possible, you should plan to fall apart on different days from your spouse.

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