What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far? It’s the most polluted city in the world for several months each year; the worst period is between November and February. You should absolutely wear a mask during the winter if you choose to live there and buy yourself a good air purifier before you move too.
Search online for “Techno masks” with neoprene covers and replaceable filters.
If interested in reading more about this complex issue, please see my article here: you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Mongolia, what would it be?
I’ll let you in on a secret that’s true everywhere, but particularly for foreigners traveling to or living in Mongolia. If you make an effort to get to know locals and understand their culture, keep an open mind, are patient, flexible, and respectful, AMAZING opportunities will pop up—seemingly out of nowhere.
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Get outside of the urban areas as much as possible!
I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, USA but lived in Paris, France and Bilbao, Spain until I was five years old. As a native English speaker and cultural ambassador in a Mongolian vocational school, I co-taught classes to students studying to be painters, secretaries, graphic designers, and tour guides. How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
One negative aspect of living in Mongolia is that foreigners can occasionally be targets for discrimination and even violence due to growing nationalism.Hiking, horseback riding, rafting, camel riding, and staying with nomads are all great fun.Mongolia is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever seen and geographically it’s incredibly diverse!For an in-depth post on the pollution risks along with pictures from my time there check out my previous post: you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?I've been home for several months now and it's been challenging in certain ways: adjusting to the incredible consumer choice found in supermarkets, feeling flooded with English rather than Mongolian, clicking into a familiar routine and culture after a year full of amazing surprises and adventures!