So, you’re moving to Pakistan. Whether it’s for work, familial, or other reasons, you’re in for an experience of a lifetime! This South Asian country is home to over 200 million people, and is incredibly diverse. It is one of the few countries where you can experience all seasons and also explore a vast variety of terrains.
Whether it’s due to the culture or the landscape, you’ll enjoy your time in this country and surely make it your home. Of course, you will have to respect some cultural and religious sensibilities to truly become part of the society. Keep in mind that Pakistan is an Islamic country, so there are certain restrictions you will have to follow. Otherwise, there’s not much to worry about, as you’ll love the people and the places.
Before moving to Pakistan, you need to get all your documentation in order. Get the relevant visas and permits, and you’re ready for the next step. Your experience in Pakistan largely depends on which part you’re moving to, and whether it’s a rural or urban area, but here are some basic things you need to know beforehand.
- Experience hospitality like never before
Don’t believe everything you hear or read on mainstream media. Pakistan is definitely not as conservative or dangerous as you might have been led to believe. Quite on the contrary, the people here are extremely hospitable and welcome foreigners with open arms.
In fact, you’ll find yourself lavished with food and cups of tea wherever you go and will very quickly find a good social circle. Do check out Facebook and other social media to find the best groups for you. Do this before moving to Pakistan, and you’ll get some great advice or even help as well.
- Get ready to explore culinary wonders
The food in Pakistan will make you feel like you’re in a gastronomical wonderland. Each region has its own specialty, and you’ll find that Pakistanis really enjoy their food. Do keep in mind that a lot of the local dishes are quite spicy, so you should let people know about your preferences beforehand.
In addition, fresh, high-quality ingredients are easily available in both rural and urban areas at highly affordable prices. So, your grocery run will not be extremely expensive. Do try the fresh fruits and dairy products in Pakistan, as they will give you immense culinary joy.
As for restaurants, you’ll find a wide range of cuisines, with Pan-Asian food and fast food the most common.
- Respect the cultural and religious sensibilities
Pakistan is an Islamic republic and the majority of the population follows certain moral and cultural codas. So, depending on the place you’re moving to, make some adjustments accordingly. For both men and women, revealing outfits might be frowned upon.
In addition, in many situations, freely mixing with the opposite gender is not advised. Also avoid public displays of affection, as they are not common in Pakistan.
As for alcohol, it is permitted for non-Muslims and foreigners, but is not openly available everywhere. You can have it in selective places or in private gatherings.
Of course, these rules differ between areas and social strata, so take your cue from your surroundings.
- See some of the best tourist sites in the world
Now for the fun part: your domestic trips in Pakistan will be amazing! When you have time off, you must visit the Northern areas to experience some beautiful views and weather. The temperature up North is comfortable throughout the year, and there are numerous facilities for tourism as well.
Do put Hunza, Chitral, and Swat on your bucket list. If you’re a fan of adventure tourism, then these areas also offer some great activities. If you’re into history, then you can find heritage sites from a number of civilisations in Pakistan.
- Be prepared!
You should know that in Pakistan, you will have to make arrangements for your security and healthcare facilities. If you’re here on work purposes, you company will probably help you make all the relevant arrangements you need, complete with accommodation.
Before moving to an area, do thorough research on its criminal statistics and use websites like Zameen.com to find the best housing options for you. If you’re moving with your family, you can also use open street map to see what educational and recreational facilities are nearby.
In addition, you’ll find that house help is easily available in Pakistan, so you can live as comfortably as you want. Just make sure that you register any help you hire at the local police station, with their relevant identity cards, so that no untoward incident takes place. Also keep your valuables safe, and do not take them out in public often.
In conclusion, moving to Pakistan will be one of the most monumental decisions you will make. However, once you settle in comfortably, you will find that you’ve fallen in love with the country and its people.