🚲If you have relocated to a new country, visit Expat meetups

Today I thought of talking about ex-pat meetups.

🚲If you have relocated to a new country, visit Expat meetups
Photo by Leif Niemczik / Unsplash

Hi! My name is Narendra Vardi, and I write about my learnings, observations and trends in the Software world. Besides software, I also talk about photography, travel stories, books and movies. If that's something that interests you, consider subscribing.

If you have been following me for some time now, you will know I went on a solo trip to Europe. I have talked about my initial experience of visiting Paris already. In this article, I thought of talking about a meetup that I visited in Amsterdam.

If you are new to the word, ex-pat, do not worry. I have written down the definition for you.

Ex-pat is an individual living and/or working in a country other than their country of citizenship, often temporarily and for work reasons.

For example, Indians will be considered ex-pats if they work outside India, from the other country point of view.

Now, let me talk about the meetups. I have visited meetups since my first job as an intern at Amazon. That was back in 2016. It was a way for me to meet new people with similar interests. Like in Hyderabad, I used to visit technical meetups centred around Java and Scala, and once I was back in Bangalore, I became a member of the Toastmasters club. Though these meetups sound dull, they were worth a try. You never know which club will match your energy.

Coming to my Amsterdam visit, I stayed at my friend's place in Amsterdam, and he talked me into going for a meetup where ex-pats met.

All the guests at the meetup were from different parts of the world and were very inviting. Though I was not going to stay in Amsterdam for long, it was interesting to know the best experiences and challenges of the people who were present.

During one of the discussions, they talked about how mad St Patrick's day celebration will be. They were talking about going to movies and restaurants. Experienced ex-pats were guiding new ex-pats to accommodate well into the new country. It felt wonderful. I never thought such kind of support system existed.

Most of my NRI friends who are in different countries never talk about meetups, and there is a reason for it. They all relocated to a different country to do their higher studies. If you are studying, you already have students to support you. But, if you are an employee in India and have to relocate to a new country for a temporary purpose or a prolonged duration, these ex-pat meetups, in my opinion, are a great support system.

This is especially useful for folks who relocate alone. Having a support system is crucial for understanding and adjusting to the new country.

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