Every expat community has its unofficial watering hole. When I lived in Siem Reap, it was a great little bar called The Warehouse. In Bangkok, an outdoor spot called Cheap Charlie's has held down the fort for a generation of foreigners. Americans in Paris gather in and around the Shakespeare and Company book shop and its nearby Latin Quarter pubs.
These bars, often dives, spring up for a reason. They're a chance to connect with the local scene, to get to know your fellow strangers in a strange land. They're where you get tips and swap stories and, for those in foreign-dominated industries like the NGO and energy sectors, a place to blow off some steam after work.
They also offer a chance to talk to someone in your own language, which can be a big deal.
Although expatriates are an adventurous lot, language and cultural barriers can still make life pretty difficult sometimes. Yes, figuring out how to adapt to your new home is part of the thrill of moving overseas, but sometimes you don't want casual conversation to be thrilling. You'd rather not politely nod through complicated vocabulary, and having to translate everything in your head can feel like living life on a time delay.
Yes, even adventurers get lonely.
Does that mean you should chuck those plans to move overseas? Certainly not! Some travelers might be more worried about the language barrier than others though. Whether you don't pick up new languages well, or just don't want to make the time, there are still plenty of opportunities. For example try on these five countries, recommended by InterNations as the top English-speaking destinations for expats around the world:
Editors' pick: Originally published March 15.