The first few months of expat life are often anxious and boring. They’re usually times when one is still getting used to the place and lifestyle. Local hobbies would come in handy in such situations as a pastime.
Sight seeing is fun but it may become too expensive on a regular basis. A good hobby as an expat life pastime is something that can be done regularly without much added expenses incurred. A good idea is to continue with whatever hobby one had back home and resume it here, during the expat life, with some local adjustments. If it was sports, reading, gardening, or simply making new friends in the block, then translate them here to blend in with the local hues. This will prove a leisurely pastime to while the expat life away.
Most sports available in the Philippines are also those popular abroad. Sports games like basketball, volleyball, soccer, badminton, and the like. But it would be more challenging to learn local sports that are easy for expats to learn to spend the expat life with, aside from work. Some local sports have similarities with popular sports abroad. Jai Alai is like pelota or handball (using native rattan rackets). “Sipa” or “Sepak” is like volleyball (using kicks instead of arm butts). How about quick lessons in Filipino Martial Arts or try billiards games with street corner “champs”? These are excellent expat life pastimes.
Local plants are also amusing to grow around the yard or even in earthen pots or small cans. For a sweet expat life stay, try growing naturally scented flower plants like “sampaguita,” the country’s pride, “rosal,” and “dama de noche,” which gives off a mysterious, pleasant scent at night. For a healthier expat life, how about growing local vegetable plants which can also serve as plant decors around the yard? Plants like “malunggay,” string beans or “sitaw,” “ampalaya” or bitter melon, and tomato. There are also local orchids available.
Local bookstores make foreign books easily available. But expat life can be more colorful if local books are also considered. There are local authors who paint life in the Philippines in very subtle and poetic expressions yet quite realistic. There are books on local fiction, drama, and myths and mysteries that reflect native life philosophies and beliefs. The expat life will be enriched more by the unique colors of native culture.
In trying the new challenges aforesaid, one gains new acquaintances and the expat life experience is extended to new and broader horizons.