I was going through my old blog posts and realized I have 62 of them tagged as Expat Tips (not counting all the answers in my FAQ section). That’s more than in any of the other categories on Joburg Expat, like Schools, Travel, Crime and Security, or Health. It’s even more than I wrote under Bureaucracy, which is saying a lot because that one includes Eskom.
Everyone knows I’ve had a lot to say about Eskom.
I’ve always thought I should be doing something special with those expat tips, because surely there are other people out there in the process of moving countries (not just to South Africa) who might benefit from this collective, hard-earned, wisdom. Or maybe I just have an urge to tell other people what to do.
Then I was reading an article in the New York Times about how Twitter* has become very popular among the religious community, because inspirational messages and bible verses are so well-made for a 140 character broadcast. And this is when it hit me: expat-tip-of-the-day broadcasts on Twitter! Now, never fear, I won’t go off sprouting Philippians and Matthew to you now (did I even say those right?) but I won’t put it beyond me to mix the mundane (do your own monthly electricity meter readings) with the occasional inspirational (sit down, relax, read a book, pictures can be hung tomorrow, hakuna matata!).
So, starting today, I will be broadcasting an #ExpatTip of the day on Twitter and see how far into the year I get with that. Some of these tips will be South Africa specific, and some of them apply more or less universally all over the world. All of them, rest assured, are Joburg Expat battle tested, meaning there is a very good reason I am giving that particular advice. Possibly because I didn’t follow it myself.
I’m also very happy to take your suggestions. What are YOUR expat tips you feel are most important to impart to your fellow expats? Leave a comment right here, post a tip to my Facebook page, or send me a note through my contact page. I’m hoping to receive lots of input and make this a worthwhile resource for other expats. Please chime in!
Here is the first gratuitous #ExpatTip of the day: #ExpatTip 1: Make a spreadsheet of family passport numbers and expiration dates; schedule expiration dates in your calendar.
* I have since shut down my Twitter account. I no longer want to support Twitter as I believe it is allowing too much hate speech and bullying, and too little fact checking.