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Expat Advice: Dream vs. Reality of Expat Life in Balikpapan, Indonesia

Submitted by educatingwendy

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Balikpapan

Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.

I thought it would be full of new and exciting experiences. I also thought it would be less focused on money and "worldly" achievements and more about helping the country and people in which I would be located.

How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

I love that each day brings new things to learn and do. You get to experience different cultures and meet people from all over the world.

How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

It's a bit more focused on money and packages that I originally thought. There are certainly "levels" of expats and positions. It can be cliquey among females (partners). I find it much more difficult to find professional work, even though I am also a professional expat (who met my professional partner as an expat). I've followed him to a new place and hard to find work as people assume I'm just a trailing spouse versus a professional expatriate myself.

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