10 Inspiring True Stories About Living in a New Place
Adjusting to a new place can be difficult, whether you're transitioning from city life to the countryside or learning about a whole new culture in a foreign country. While not everyone has the means or the desire to make such a drastic change themselves, we can all get a feel for what the experience is like by reading memoirs by those who have taken the plunge. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
10 Inspiring True Stories About Living in a New Place
Helpful Tools For Your Next Move
Whether you're beginning a new life in a strange place or just getting a bigger house down the street after having a child, moving can be quite a hassle. Be prepared by making sure you have these things on hand:
- Plenty of sturdy cardboard boxes
- A utility knife
- Hard luggage to give your delicate items extra protection
- Enough bubble wrap for all of your dishware
- A roll of tape measure
- Moving blankets to protect furniture from getting scratched
- Enough tape to seal up your boxes
- A well-stocked tool kit for disassembling & re-assembling furniture
The Secret of Starting Over
Moving away from home can be a very daunting task, especially if you're headed to a country halfway around the world. Not only do books on this subject help satisfy one's wanderlust, but most writers also provide many useful tips and tricks for aspiring travelers based on their own personal experiences. With that in mind, we've gathered ten inspiring true stories about living in a new place. Take note that this list is done in no particular order.
First up, at #1, we have "Bleaker House" by Nell Stevens. This memoir follows Stevens as she spends three months trying to finish her debut novel at a guest house on Bleaker Island, where she's the only inhabitant. There, she thinks that she'll be free from all the distractions that hinder her progress, but she soon realizes that going there only presented new challenges, and living in complete isolation has an adverse effect on her mental health. It's a thought-provoking book full of humorous anecdotes, and it includes snippets of her unfinished novel.
Next, at #2, is "Turkey Street" by Jack Scott. It's the sequel to his first book, "Perking the Pansies," and it recounts the author's time living in Turkey with his husband, Liam. After quitting their jobs in London, the couple moves to the Turkish city of Bodrum. There, they encounter all sorts of quirky individuals who help them learn more about the country's rich history and culture. This book mainly reflects on what they learned during their stay and what life is like for an expat.
This book mainly reflects on what they learned during their stay and what life is like for an expat.
At #3 is "Peanut Butter and Naan" by Jennifer Hillman-Magnuson. When the author's husband received an offer for a position in India, her entire family moved there all the way from Nashville. The story follows the couple and their five children as they try to adjust to a new lifestyle during their one-year stay in the country. It's an eye-opening tale that shows how living in a drastically different environment can change one's perspective of the world.
Next, at #4, is "French Illusions" by Linda Kovic-Skow. When she was twenty-one years old, Linda wanted to be an international flight attendant. Realizing that she had to learn another language in order to fulfill her dream, she secured a job as a nanny for a wealthy family in France by lying about her French fluency. The book recounts Linda's time working for the Dubois family and the frustrating experiences she had with the matriarch of the household, who made it difficult for her to settle in and feel welcome.
At #5 is "Dancing in the Bamboo Forest" by Djahariah Mitra. When the author took a yoga teacher training course in India, she decided to stay in the country for a little longer and learn more about her heritage. Her story provides a lot of insight on what it's like to travel alone as a woman, especially in a place where gender inequality is rampant. She also discusses the ways that yoga helped her overcome the many challenges she faced throughout her journey.
Her story provides a lot of insight on what it's like to travel alone as a woman, especially in a place where gender inequality is rampant.
Next up, at #6, we have "Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube" by Blair Braverman. Determined to prove herself as a "tough girl," Braverman moved to Norway in order to learn how to become a musher. Her book chronicles her journey of self-discovery as she faces numerous obstacles throughout her adventures in the unforgiving lands of Norway and Alaska. It also addresses the sensitive topic of sexual harassment, which the author had to endure while living with a host family.
At #7 is "Dispatches from Pluto" by Richard Grant. It follows the author and his girlfriend, Mariah, as they move into an old house in a community known as Pluto, located in the Mississippi Delta. There, they meet locals from all walks of life, each with their own fascinating tales about the area's rich history. As a British travel writer, Grant is able to provide an outsider's perspective on the Delta's ongoing racial tensions.
Next, at #8, is "Once Upon A Time In The West... Country" by Tony Hawks. Together with his wife, comedian Tony leaves London to live in a village in Dartmoor, Devon. As the couple adjusts to life in a rural area, they have to get used to growing their own crops and actually talking to their neighbors. Readers are sure to enjoy Hawks' silly antics, such as going on a long bike ride while carrying a small pig.
Readers are sure to enjoy Hawks' silly antics, such as going on a long bike ride while carrying a small pig.
At #9 is "Funny in Farsi" by Firoozeh Dumas. Back in 1972, when she was seven years old, Dumas and her family moved from Iran to America. Over the years, they learned to speak English and got used to the country's vastly different culture. Their lives took a drastic turn for the worse during the Iran hostage crisis, which saw people like them vilified by many Americans. After the tension between their nations simmered down, Firoozeh found herself struggling to adjust to another new culture when she married a Frenchman.
Finally, at #10, we have "A Dream Called Home" by Reyna Grande. When her parents immigrated to the United States, Reyna was left behind in Mexico with her grandmother. Several years later, she found her own way to Los Angeles and eventually got accepted to the University of California, Santa Cruz. In this book, the author recounts the events that led to her becoming the first member of her family to earn a college degree and eventually have a successful career as a writer.