Life comes as a bag of changes – you never know what jumps out of it. It may sometimes carry a reason for you to change your location due to a job or due to family – either ways, you are never ever fully prepared for moving from one country to the other!
Whenever travelling to another country, a lot of stereotypes would cloud your mind and attitudes, affecting the desirability of staying at the new place. It is pivotal to get your information not from magazines or newspapers, but from other expats who have traveled, or have stayed in that country most recently. Their information shall always prove to be more beneficial than any of the other sources.
When you reach a country, it is also important to invest time in knowing some bit of the history, political details, a brief detail on the laws and about the whereabouts and routes of the place, some bit about the culture, greetings, appearance and dressing style, the local food and some recipes of the same,… all in all its culture.
In case you are moving to Bolivia, there are certain key points that can help you survive the other world, provided you take our advice seriously!
1. Latin Americans are very friendly people as long as you want to be friends with them. Don’t expect to turn out to be their stars, or queens and kings. They appreciate good camaraderie, politeness and good etiquette.
2. Don’t be cribby about Bolivia if after moving things don’t turn out to be what you had expected. You are in someone else’s country, and you would definitely not want to crib about how horrible it is in comparison to your native nation.
3. Get familiar with their local languages; Portuguese and Spanish, that’s it. You may not speak it fluently, but even learning it in parts and bits would help you communicate better. Also, don’t expect the locals to learn your language in order to communicate with you – because as they say, when in Rome, do as Romans do!
4. Make a deliberate effort to mix up with the local Bolivians. Nothing irks them more than those “gringos” who only want to hang out with people from their country.
5. Get all your vaccines, medical tests, ocular and dental check ups done before you leave your home country. You might get a hard time hunting for doctors in a new country- prevention is better than cure!
6. Check which appliances you carry with yourself when moving from your country in to Bolivia. Do check if the currents, voltages and socket requirements of your appliances match with that of the ones available in Bolivia. There’s no use carrying appliances with different voltage or current type requirements as these things cannot be changed as per individual requirement.
7. If you are on any specific kind of a medication, make sure you do your homework and check if they will be available in the Bolivian health care market. Also check with your doctor for the usage of substitutes in case the exact drug is not available in Bolivia.
8. Definitely, without fail, do get an international Driver’s license. An owner of an international Driver’s license does not have to take a separate driving test in Bolivia, all they are required to do is to get a Bolivian Driver’s License made for local use.
9. Most Latin American people prefer to dress formally for a dinner at a friend’s place. Similarly, learn other basic etiquette and social conduct rules practiced in the country well in advance. It is also your primary duty to coach the same to other members of the family, so that all of you perform in unison when they are in a social set up in Bolivia.
10. Last, but not the least, do learn the following phrases in Portuguese or Spanish, preferably in both languages:
- I didn’t do it
- I don’t agree
- I need a Lawyer
- Please Call my Embassy
- Where’s the Bathroom/Restaurant/Hospital
Do you have any other key points in mind? Do let us know in the comments section below.