1) Be open/flexible
You gotta roll with the punches. You are not in your home country anymore, things will not be how you do them so be open to their way of doing things.
2) Don’t do everything at once
I try not to do this and wind up doing it every time, I wind up breaking down with a crying spell by the end. Take it easy, pace yourself, you have time to do and see what you have planned or not planned. Just let things happen as they come.
3) Be friendly & smile
Smiling is a universal language and can help you in many ways. It helped me find my way to the train station after I missed the bus by a local woman, she was so nice. It has also helped me meet new friends in the places I’ve stayed. Being friendly also helps wherever you are, especially in hostels. Meet as many people as you can, it only enhances your experience.
4) Keep in touch with family & friends back home
Sometimes its nice to talk to family and friends to hear your language again. It gives you a little comfort of home by hearing what everyone has been up too. When you are having a down day, talking to a friend or family member can brighten your day.
5) Try to learn the local language
Any effort is deeply appreciate wherever you are. I don’t speak an ounce of German but I’m trying. I also got Rosetta Stone German that I’ve been practicing on. You are a foreigner in their country, the least you can do is try to learn their language.
6) Keep your sleep schedule you had from home
If you go to bed early, then keep it that way. Same for the morning if you wake up early, wake up the same time. It will benefit you greatly from not getting slammed with jetlag after a few days.
If you were flying on a long flight its good to workout your body from sitting so long. I work out a lot at home, 6 days a week. If you are an avid fitness freak, do not stop your routine. You may need to improvise a few things, I do some morning hikes or a running because its so beautiful here in Switzerland. But I also have workout DVDs that I used from home that I brought with me. Exercise is a great outlet for stressful days and keeps you fit when you are eating different foods you are not used to.
8) Try new things
Whether its food, drinks, activities etc. Do it. It will make you grow and make your experience that much better. I don’t drink much anymore but I had a shot of Appenzeller, which I was told I had to try. I don’t like shots but did it anyway, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Plus I learned a cool story about it, the recipe has been a secret for over 100 years and only 2 family members know the recipe. Hence, you also never know what you could learn from trying something new.
9) Allow yourself to adjust
I was running around and didn’t let myself fully emotionally adjust. I was finally back in a place I wanted to be for 6 years and now I’m back here, it was a mix of emotions. Every day is going to be different, you’ll have good and bad days. Don’t fight any negative emotions, feel it, understand it, be aware of it and let it go.
10) Have fun!
This one is simple. Have fun! Enjoy yourself, this is a new journey and it will take time to learn ways of doing things but you’ll get it eventually. Meet people, get friendly with the locals, learn the language and the rest will fall into place.