Are you living abroad or just travelling?

The Thames at Night
The Thames at Night

I make a point of living in countries, not simply touring them. In order to check in about whether or not I am simply a tourist, I’ve created a checklist of experiences that indicate just that. Use this checklist to confirm you are living in a country, or to confirm you are simply travelling there. Or just for a laugh.

__ Pay bills
__ Buy underwear
__ Legal recognition (i.e. passport, ID card, visa, alien registration)
__ Study or work
__ Become sick enough to visit the doctor
__ Navigate a new health care system with at least marginal success
__ Travel hours using public transportation
__ Decorate a place to live
__ Learn a language (or at least new slang)
__ Make friends of the nationality where one is living
__ Read a newspaper
__ Send a package or letter
__ Get a haircut
__ Remain at the least three months
__ Learn a new recipe
__ Offend someone gravely
__ Learn to apologize in a new language
__ Get a phone
__ Lose weight AND gain weight
__ Experience at least two seasons
__ Become a regular in at least two businesses
__ Welcome a visitor from back home
__ Stop carrying a camera everywhere at all times
__ Adopt a new habit (espresso with grappa in the morning, wearing a scarf constantly, social smoking, the like…)
__ Get asked for directions by a local (x2 points for awesomeness!)
 
This list is updated regularly as I move around the world and gain new experiences. Up to date as of July 2013. 
 

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