Before moving to a new country it’s easy to have an idealised view of what relocating will be like, and how your new expat life will pan out. Once the honeymoon period is over, you often have to get to grips with the reality of your adopted country and its culture. Expats often have to familiarise themselves with beliefs or attitudes that are markedly different to those in their home countries. It might be views surrounding gender, sexuality, religion, race, social mores, family, education or work that are taken for granted at home. Culture shock can be a real issue and, since moving to Mauritius, my own experience of this has been concerning animal welfare. Coming from a country where people treat their pets as a part of their family, the difference is startling, and I struggled to cope with my feelings at first.