Thriving Abroad as an Introverted Expat

Global living

Sometimes I think I will never be a “good” expat.

You see, I love my expat world. I delight in my life overflowing with people. But after nine years of living abroad, I’ve discovered that my expat lifestyle and introverted personality conflict in more ways than I ever imagined.

I’ve struggled to strike up conversations in my second language because of my quiet temperament. Explorations of my new surroundings are stressful because of my not-so-adventurous personality.

At cafés? I’m perfectly content with sitting by myself for three hours straight. At parties? The kitchen is my haven. And when the kitchen isn’t in sight, I resort to the restroom for quick reprieves of solitude. I’m as introverted as introverted can be. But these struggles can fuel discouragement and insecurity when I see my extroverted friends speaking fluently, discovering new places, and befriending locals or other expats with ease.

I’ve been known to declare with exasperation, “I just wish I were an extrovert!” Sometimes I think it would make life abroad much easier.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Charity says:

    Enjoyed reading this article. Very well written…helped me learn some things about myself too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Taylor says:

      Thanks, Charity! 😊 I really appreciate your encouraging comments!


  2. Mike says:

    When you began referring to yourself in terms of extraversion, I thought to myself, “hmmm, She needs to read Susan Cain’s book.” … Then, you quoted from it. Incredible book!! Loved the article… Re. “Retreating to the kitchen” … Yep! It’s funny just how interesting items in “the curio cabinet on the wall” can be. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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