Should I Settle In?

Patients that have come in to my practice, have been in Chile for at least a few weeks or sometimes a few years. A frequent question that comes up at any point in time is “Should I be trying to settle in?”

Some of the moves here consist of people in a relationship, while others come for work or the experience. Many people do not know how long they will be staying and, a lot of the time, becoming accustomed to Chile seems like a big effort that will result in only having to leave eventually.

When presented with the question, I tend to explain two options. The decision is yours.

The first option is to try to settle in. If you become a part of something, then you can discover a whole new side of yourself. You can realize things about yourself that you would not otherwise. You can even come to the conclusion that living here is not for you, but you tried and learned things in the process.

Another option is to view your move as a vacation or a temporary arrangement, then you can observe culture as an outsider and have fun doing it in the process. You can also learn about a completely different way of life and incporate some of those elements in your own lifestyle. You can leave and feel that you come away with something valuable.

How do you settle in? Another frequent question. Granted, Chile is not the easiest country to fit in to. Learn the language, at least enough to move around independently. Find activities that interest you. Make friends. Learn about the history and culture.

And try to limit comparisons. Of course, this is nothing like where you are from. It is different. Not worse, not better. Just different.

Either way, whatever you choose, you can feel that coming here was worth the experience.

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