I have recently read an article analysing all the negatives of our today’s global world, including losing national identity or spreading various diseases. Given my personal resolution to bring more and more positive psychology to my life I decided to rethink the topic and list three main things I value in globalisation as an expat.
An obvious one. Probably if it wasn’t for the European Union, I wouldn’t have made the decision to move out of Poland at all. EU made the whole move easier for me, without unnecessary paperwork and queues on the border. But easier travel also goes beyond Europe. Although there is more paperwork involved for people moving to Europe from non-EU countries, travelling is still much easier than it has been a couple of years ago. Look at the flight prices, accessibility of various currencies, lack of restrictions (in most countries, sadly not in all of them) as to where, for how long or to whom you can go. Getting a travel visa is more and more often just a formality that requires some money and patience, it’s no longer a huge restriction. We should be grateful for the possibility to travel the world so easily these days.
Another thing is that thanks to globalisation and the accessibility of other cultures we can expand our knowledge about the world very easily if we want to. Even if you don’t have the financial means to travel often, most places in the world have access to the internet. And the internet is such a huge medium that we can use! From international meet-ups, facebook groups, international smartphone apps, interest communities, blogs, to finding accommodation through couchsurfing or Airbnb almost anywhere in the world. All of the above (and many more) give us an amazing opportunity to get in touch with people from around the world and learn something more about their lives, without even leaving our room. And it can be done from any place in the world! How awesome is that?
Easier adaptation thanks to company chains
That one I find quite personal as I didn’t expect it to be so important when I was moving abroad. At first I was very excited to discover new places, to get to know local stores and customs. Of course I was. Very quickly however I realised that whenever I was tired or just ‘not in the mood’ I had the tendency to go for the places or shop in stores I already knew. I was going for something familiar. They were very often brands that I already knew from Poland. It was a safe choice, didn’t require much energy from me, reading etiquettes or thinking about the prices too much, didn’t drain energy. On those days I realised that global chains had a meaningful impact in how quickly I was getting used to the UK reality. I would probably struggle much more if I went to Chile for example, because the reality there is much more different from the one in Poland – it would simply take more time for me to get to know it. In the UK on the other hand using the brands I knew gave me the stability and confidence that I at least have some common base with the locals living here.
I am fully aware that globalisation, whether it’s common global brands, accessibility of travel or World Wide Web, has some disadvantages as well which influence how we live our lives nowadays. However I’ll risk saying that we can’t really stop it. And if we can’t, we may as well make the best out of it!