Moving to a new country can be quite…well, there are a lot of way to describe it. Exhilarating, stressful, awkward, and enjoyable all come to mind (feel free to add your own adjective in the comments!). First there´s the packing, then the traveling, followed by the setting up. All the while you have to navigate a new culture´s traditions and quirks. Whether you´re teaching, volunteering or retiring in Paraguay, here are a couple of tips to get your started.
Read up on your new home
My recently released guidebook to Paraguay is full of information to help you prepare for and make the most of your time in Paraguay. It includes a packing list (with tips on what to bring and what is available locally), key cultural insights, resources for learning Spanish and Guaraní, detailed maps and practical travel tips. Read it and get psyched about Paraguay! Printed copies are available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and a Kindle (e-book) version is coming soon!
Find a place to crash
If you’ll be in the market for housing plan to spend your first week or two in a hostel. Since I wrote this post on Hostels in Asunción I have learned of a few more hostels. I have not had a chance to review them yet and welcome your feedback: Arandú Hostal (www.aranduhostal.com), El Viajero Asunción Hostel & Suites (www.hostelasuncion.com), La Casita de la Abuela Hostal Verde (http://www.facebook.com/LaCasitaDeLaAbuelaHostalVerde), Hostal El Jardín (http://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Jardin/317215628312477).
Choose your Paraguayan nickname
Paraguayans may have just as hard a time pronouncing your name as you do theirs.
Get the most for your money
Tips on exchanging money in Asunción and as a “yapa,” how to say “money” in Guaraní.
Find out what´s happening
Although Asunción may feel super “tranquilo” (tranquil), there are generally a lot of events going on in the city. These posts on Asunción’s cultural scene and where to find information in Paraguay will help you find out about them ahead of time.
Choose a Soccer Team
Figure out what your answer to “De qué club sos?” is going to be.
More advice to come in Part 2! Have advice or questions of your own? Share them here or on the Discovering Paraguay Facebook page!