This is a guest post by Mrs. Irina Nikolaeva a Russian born expat now living in Georgia's Batumi.
As I have received a lot of questions lately on expat advice, I asked Irina to come up with expat advice series on my blog, see her previous articles: About New Year's Holidays in Georgia and 5 reasons why Batumi is better than Moscow (or other big city).
Also, if you are interested to relocate to Georgia, see following articles:
- Can You Buy a Good Life in Tbilisi With $500 as a Foreign Expat?
- UAE Resident: Why Migrate to Georgia
Now, here is the advices from Mrs. Irina Nikolaeva
0. The love to Georgia will always stay your heart. If you are thinking about coming to Georgia - do it! You will not regret about this decision. After the first time you will come again and again and finally will find yourself thinking about living here. You can read more about the reasons why I moved to Batumi in the article: 5 reasons why Batumi is better than Moscow (or other big city)
But as always you will face with some complexity of the new city, new country, new culture. I don’t want to make you change the decision, just help you to escape some problems and disappointments.
1. Holidays and life in Georgia are fully different.
Probably you've came to Georgia for holidays, felt all this hospitality and beauty and decided to move here for permanent residency. In general it is not a bad idea, just don’t expect that the life would be the same as your holidays. After moving you will stop being a holly guest for locals, so you will have less parties, less invites to show you touristic places, less attention and help. Of course that is normal and not says that people here are bad, just be prepared to solve problems yourself and build your life from the ground up. See: About New Year's Holidays in Georgia
2. Find the expat community. There are many foreigners in Georgia. They are same open and friendly as locals and treat as other as a family. My new friends reminded me school friendship with hanging out together, playing games and enjoying the life. You can also find locals in these communities and they are great too.
3. One day you will feel full of Georgian traditions. Georgian traditions, cuisine, the way of life are great, but one day you will be tired of khachapuri, khinkali, drinking from launch to the sunrise and listening the same set of toasts. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that Georgia is not the best place anymore. Eat some pizza, meet with other expats complaining how much you miss home or go to another country for a week and you will feel the love to this country again.
4. Never loan credit to locals. Georgian people are not good in financial planning. Most of them don’t have permanent job with a good salary, but like to live at a high rate. They can say that they need money for some serious reason, but then go out to casino or with girls and spend everything during one night, not thinking how they will give your money back tomorrow. Better don’t say to anyone how much money do you have in order to have the opportunity to say that you can’t give credit because you have no money. If you say just “no” they could take offense. See: Invest in Georgia - Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending - Mintos.com
5. Never criticize Georgian traditions, people and the way of life with Georgians. Georgians are very proud people. They will defend each moment of their culture and habits. Don’t try to change anything or you will hear something like “when visiting a foreign land, follow the customs of those who live in it” or even more rude “go home if you don’t like our country”. You know, in some way that is good, cause if every foreigner could change this special country you will never see the beauty of Georgian traditions. Just make your own small community with your own rules to have a rest from the things that you don’t like in local life.
See you in Georgia, my friend!