American Expat Living in Austria - Interview with Elaine

Published: 2 May at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Austria
Elaine is an American expat living in Vienna, Austria. She's a trailing spouse, blogger, globe trotter, and foodie. Her blog is about the many ups, downs, highs and lows of her new life in her newly adopted country. Elaine's expat blog is called Formosan Serendipity (see listing here)

Inside the famous Vienna Opera house
Inside the famous Vienna Opera house

Here's the interview with Elaine...

Where are you originally from?
Maryland, USA

In which country and city are you living now?
Vienna, Austria

How long have you lived in Austria and how long are you planning to stay?
I've lived here for a little over a year and expected to be here for another 2-4 years.

Why did you move to Austria and what do you do?
I followed my husband here. He had a job opportunity that we just couldn't say no to. I spend my days blogging, trying new hobbies, taking language classes, traveling and really making the most of our limited time abroad.

Did you bring family with you?
My husband and our dog.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
It was a rough transition. The first few months felt like a dream vacation and then reality set in. Learning to reset your life from zero is extremely challenging, but also very rewarding in the end.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
The Viennese are notoriously unfriendly. Coming from the US where it's the complete opposite is something I'm still getting used to. I've been able to make friends with other expats easily and that has helped immensely.

The beautiful St Stephans in Vienna
The beautiful St Stephans in Vienna
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
This city is absolutely gorgeous. It's a city full of arts and there's always something going on. Seeing a show at the iconic Opera house is a must!

What do you enjoy most about living in Austria?
The amazing public transit and quality of life.

How does the cost of living in Austria compare to home?
Coming from the Washington DC area, everyday necessities such as groceries seem to be cheaper here. However, clothing and luxury items are really expensive, especially with the added VAT (20%).

What negatives, if any, are there to living in Austria?
I think the Viennese people can make living here hard, especially for foreigners. But you can't that get in the way of your overall experience here. Also, the winters are long, grey, and windy.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Austria, what would it be?
Familiarize yourself as much as possible about the location you're moving to.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
The hardest aspect of being an expat is the distance from family and friends.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I think when, and if, we return to the States there will be major adjustments and figuring out how we fit back into the work and social culture.

Attending an Indian wedding IN India
Attending an Indian wedding IN India
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Learn the basics of the language and culture.
  2. Get rid of as much stuff as possible. Living as an expat, you'll learn that you need to be as minimal as possible
  3. Broaden your social circles and join lots of expat clubs in and around the city.
  4. Be open-minded and flexible. Don't expect things to be like home.
  5. Enjoy the experience. You may never have the same opportunity again.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I started this blog as soon as I knew we would be moving. It's to document all our trials and tribulations abroad for our family and friends to follow. It also includes all the traveling we've done since our move. Lately, I've ventured into doing some cafe reviews in Vienna.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Thinking about moving to Vienna? If you have any other questions or concerns, contact me through my blog.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingElaine is an American expat living in Austria. Blog description: A Chronicle of Our Adventures Abroad
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Dell wrote 8 years ago:

love all of the insights and pictures on your blog

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