±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Get useful expat articles, health and financial news, social media recommendations and more in your inbox each month - free!



We respect your privacy - we don't spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

Expat Experiences

Poland > Expat Experiences

Poland

Leah Morawiec, Gliwice

Posted by: Scar on Thursday April 20, 2017 (13:16:04)
Leah Morawiec
Leah Morawiec

Who are you?

My name’s Leah and I’m an American from Orlando, Florida living in Poland for the past 6 years.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I moved abroad after doing a 2-month volunteer program in Poland where I met a guy I liked. I decided to move to Poland to be with him and see what would happen. We were together for a few years and then I met my husband and that’s when I decided to live in Poland permanently.

I’m happy with my decision because I enjoy our life here but sometimes it’s still overwhelming.


What challenges did you face during the move?

The most difficult challenge for me was language. Polish is difficult and most young people speak English, which makes it hard to motivate yourself to learn. Aside from that, there are different ways of behaving here than in the States and sometimes that can lead to uncomfortable situations for both sides. Not only that, moving abroad can be very lonely. Sometimes you feel like a total outsider and that no one understands you - both in your home country and your new home country.


Are there many other expats in your area?

There are some but just a handful. For that reason, I don’t really have many expat friends. It’s good for me in some ways because I have less competition in terms of work but also fewer people whom I can fully relate to.


What do you like about life where you are?

I love that in Poland you can experience various seasons and that we have mountains nearby. We have no mountains in Florida so I had never really spent time in mountains before I met my husband. He showed me how incredible it is to spend time in the mountains and forests and I’m really happy that the nearest mountains are only about an hour away.


What do you dislike about your expat life?

Probably being away from family is the hardest thing about expat life, except language of course. I don’t like that I can’t easily see my family if I need to and that I can’t spend many holidays with them. I know that it’s really sad for them as well. Now I’m having a child and I know it will be even harder for them. So I guess what I dislike most is that in this way I feel guilty about moving abroad, which conflicts with my positive feelings of pride of having successfully moved abroad and assimilated well.


What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

I’d say the mentality of Poles and Americans is quite different. Poles tend to be more negative and like to complain and we tend to be more positive, perhaps to a fault. Sometimes that positivity is nice though and I miss that. Poles are also much more traditional and family-oriented, which is an aspect I surprisingly enjoy very much. I wouldn’t have expected that of myself before coming here.


What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

I’d say start taking Polish lessons as soon as possible because it will dramatically ease your transition and you’ll feel much more comfortable in social situations. Otherwise, travel as much as you can and enjoy living in a place with incredible history.


What are your plans for the future?

My plan for the near future is to stay in Poland, at least for the next 5-6 years. Perhaps we’ll consider moving to the States if one of us gets a good job offer or we think it would be good for our child but at the moment we’re happy where we are Smile

You can keep up to date with Leah's adventures on her blog, Polonization.

Would you like to share your experience of living abroad with other readers? Fill in the questions here to be featured in an interview!

 
Link  QR 


Expat Health Insurance Partners


Aetna International

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna International

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.