Fears About Living Abroad: Part 2

Living abroad can be a scary concept to get your head around. Are you a little nervous about moving abroad? Here is the second half of my FAQ list continued from last week on commonly feared aspects while moving abroad! 

Girl using computer

Girl using computer. Photo by PictureYouth

If you missed part one of this 2-part series then you can easily find that here.

1. Healthcare

What if you are feeling a bit under the weather abroad? What if you get in an accident while abroad? You can be rest assured the hospitals and doctor’s offices, while slightly different than what you may be used to, are clean, easily accessible, and thorough!

Most of the offices and doctor’s will speak a lot of English as well. If you have a cold, sore throat, fever, you can find an ENT doctor on pretty much every corner. The co-pay, thanks to the National Health Insurance, is about $5US.

Depending on what time you go they will usually check you out in under an hour. Afterward, they will hand you a prescription for a pill packet including something along the lines of a painkiller, a pill to coat your stomach for said painkiller, an antibiotic, and some sort of vitamin to help you digest that.

The hospitals can sometimes be a little overwhelming but totally efficient. Stop by the front desk to tell them what is going on, they will direct you to the right department. If you need more information on how to check out the hospitals, you can see my other article ‘Hospitals in Taiwan‘. I had surgery while abroad—it was simple, quick, and painless!

Also, for the more adventurous perhaps, visiting a traditional Chinese medicine doctor can be very beneficial as well. They check out your pulse, eyes, throat, and tongue and ask you some simple questions to diagnose your ailment.

They might tell you to eat or not to eat a certain type of food or prescribe you a bitter powder. You might have some chiropractic treatment or acupuncture while there as well. You can find out about my visit to the traditional Chinese medicine doctor here.

And, for those wondering, female doctors are plentiful and knowledgeable as well!

2. Beauty Products/Shopping

If you are like me, you were hoarding beauty products and clothes like a bear before your trip abroad. I wasn’t sure my favorite products would be there, and not that it would really matter, but I thought I might have some bad breakouts or dye jobs. Rest easy here as well! You can read my guide to shopping in Taipei to tell you everything you need to know.

There are plenty of places to shop for clothing if you find out you are missing a jacket and it’s starting to get a bit chilly. Sizing can be a bit challenging, however, but it’s not impossible. Especially with the convenience of online shopping and shipping to 711 stores. Also, your folks can ship items you can’t live without from abroad. Check out some different options on shipping in Taiwan here.

As far as beauty products go, they have everything you are used to from home and so much more! Big name cosmetics are in the malls, masks are very popular, and you can always find the Maybelline’s and Covergirl’s at your local Watsons.

3. Plane Ride

The plane ride is quite long! There are usually some layovers or stops along the way as well. Take this chance to get in some much-needed relaxation or adventure! The airports are great spots to check out and the plane is a great place to sleep or catch up on that tv series or book you’ve been meaning to read.

I have had some of my crazier/more fun experiences come from the plane rides and stops than anything! People are almost always very understanding and kind when it comes to flying and getting through airports.

Immigration is always quick and painless. Get up and stretch on the plane, everyone does. The toilet is no big deal. They even serve three meals during the trans-Atlantic flight! And seriously, they aren’t half bad! It’ll be like going to bed and waking up in a whole new world!

4. Food

Maybe you’re a bit of a picky eater? Maybe you’re a foodie? Or an adventurous eater. Eating abroad has the best of both worlds! Maybe you’re feeling a bit under the weather and want some good old-fashioned comfort food—I promise you, you can find something similar to what you’re craving at all times!

And if you’re craving a bit of a tasting adventure, you will definitely find that as well. There are so many new and unique foods to try or old foods to reinvent, you’ll never get bored of the food.

There are health food stores galore and plenty of vegetarian restaurants around as well. Big name western restaurants are easily located and there could be a mom and pop noodle stand right outside. No matter what your tastes are, you can find something to match. If you’re trying to stay in shape, check out my health and fitness articles (here)!

5. Entertainment

Are you worried about missing your favorite tv show while you’re away? They have cable television abroad with some stations you might be familiar with. English movies and shows on channels like Comedy Central, TLC, HBO, BBC, and Discovery.

While the shows might be reruns or movies might be dated sometimes, it’s somewhat nostalgic to see. There are always online options as well. Netflix is available but has a smaller variety of shows to choose from while you are abroad.

The shows are still excellent, however! The shows on the Chinese channels are very entertaining whether you can tell what they are saying or not. There are plenty of bookstores with English sections in or you can download books via Kindle.

The movie theaters are great stops and the movies are in English. There are plenty of things going on outside at any given moment—step outside and get lost in the markets or mountains! Go swimming in the ocean! Go shopping in Taipei Main Station! You’ll never run short of things to do!

Hopefully, this list quells any fears you may have about teaching abroad. It’s an adventure of a lifetime but it can be a bit scary! Try not to get hung up on small details and make the most out of it, you’ll get that much more in return!

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