Whatever the country; it takes time to settle in. So this is my 5 top tips:
1- Patience is key – Take it easy, breath and remember it is a new culture/mentality, things might (WILL) be done differently to where you come from – things seem to take longer to be done in central Africa in general for instance (Admin, customer service )…
2- Accept the reality of the country you are in (keep your expectations at bay)- it will save you headache trying to understand why and analyse/compare everything (i.E: Internet, Mobile services, power and water cuts)
3- Learn to live like a local – it will save you money and time and you will be less victim of the special pricing for “tourists” which can be 3/5/10 times more… In December I went to a hair dresser and paid 120 000CFA – £131-$193 (central Africa currency) for myself and my 2 daughters to have our hair and nails done (a simple manicure for 1)… this price would be normal in England or even considered cheap for 3 people (Afro hair only) but in Cameroon where that would be someone’ salary, no one would pay that…(common sense) I should have paid about 30 000CFA £32-$48 for the 3 of us… but yeah I learned my lesson.
4- Be safe – Study the place you live in, know your surrounded, be aware. Don’t just trust the taxi driver, you should have an idea to where you are going, distance, timing etc…
5- HAVE FUN (Stop complaining…), life is short… enjoy the sunshine 24/7/365. Go out, meet people, create a network, do a sport, have a favourite cafe… create habits and feel at home.
Happy travelling !