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Dave, Malaysia

Who are you?

I’m Dave, 34 years old, married with two young children (aged 2 and 4)

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

We moved to Malaysia in 2018.My wife was offered a job in an international school, I was a bit bored of my office job in England so I decided to become a stay at home dad.

What challenges did you face during the move?

Dealing with the upset of our families as we were moving our kids away from them.

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How did you find somewhere to live?

My wife’s school sorted accommodation although we did have the option of sourcing our own. Having this done for us was much easier.

Are there many other expats in your area?

Other than the other expats in the school, there are very few, it is not a large expat town.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

Good, they love talking to our children.

What do you like about life where you are?

It’s never cold here, I lived in Newcastle, UK, it was always freezing.

Also, travel. Malaysia is pretty central so getting around SE Asia is very easy.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Being away from close friends is difficult for us and our children. Due to the language barrier, sometimes the simplest things are hard.

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

The shift in the hours of the day, nothing really gets going until 10 am and all the kids are still up playing at 10 pm, mainly because of the heat but we’re used to being up at 6 am and having the kids down early.

What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are
your particular likes or dislikes?

As there are so many different nationalities living in Malaysia, there are subsequently so many different food options so it is very easy to find the dish you want. What I dislike is that restaurants bring food out at very sporadic times so if there are a few people at the table then one person can be finished before the others have arrived. This is common in a lot of countries but takes some getting used to.

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

Just do it, so many people say they ‘want to move abroad’ but don’t do it, there’s always a reason not to do something but if you wait for the right time you will be waiting forever. If it doesn’t work out, you come home and deal with it then.

What are your plans for the future?

Travel as much as we can, we will not be here forever, eventually we will move back to the UK but the kids are getting a great education and seeing the world. No one knows where anyone will be in five years, none of us might be here anymore, or we could win the lottery, who knows!

You can keep up to date with Dave's adventures on his blog, The Stay Abroad Dad.

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

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