Whether you're moving back home after living abroad for many years or just a few months, coming back from abroad can be a little harder than you might expect. You'll be excited to see your friends and family and to enjoy your old world, but you'll miss the new friends and the new life you've made in your adopted home country. Also, moving back to home is not as simple as booking a flight and saying goodbye to your adopted home country â€“ it will take quite a bit of time and work to go back into your home community.
If you're moving back home after living abroad, here are some helpful tips and advice on how to reestablish after living abroad which help you achieve a smooth relocation and make your experience most wonderful.
Have realistic expectations
Before returning your home country, it's important to curb your expectations a little to avoid disappointments. Especially if you've been living abroad for about many years (let's say about 10 years), you will have to accept that, everything has been changed - people have moved to different cities to start new lives, your hometown might have changed or there are new people around etc. You need to prepare yourself mentally for the changes so that you'll be less disappointed when things are not the same just as in the past.
Also, keep in mind that, people may probably expect the same old you - and this can be frustrating when you have grown and changed so much. It is really difficult to deal with such people who think of you as the same person. Be prepare yourself mentally so you're not disappointed when you have realistic expectations.
Rediscover your hometown
When returning from abroad, you'll have the unique opportunity to rediscover your hometown with new eyes. There will be a lot of places and activities in your area that you've never seen or tried before. So, as soon as you return your homeland visit all the places in your hometown that you've never went round to, try all the things you've always wanted to experience but you never dare to do, explore new cafes and shops and meet new people along the way, etc. It will be quite exciting, and it will reintroduce you to your home culture and will help you fall in love with your home country again.
Reach out your old friends and make new friends
As soon as you move back to your homeland, you may want to reach out your old friends. But keep in mind that everyone is busy with their lives which make then unavailable -- your friends might get married, had children, started new jobs or they may have even moved to different cities. So be proactive if you want to see them - call them, text them, or invite them for hook up. Remind them that you're back and you still love them and want to spend time with them - this way you'll become a part of your old friend's lives again. Also, you'll have the chance to make new friends as well once you return your home after living abroad. Join a sports team or attend events you're interested in, to meet like-minded people in your old home.
Prepare for culture shock
When moving back home from abroad, it may seem a bit off at first - things that were completely normal in the past will seem weird, and even shocking to you now, and you may even feel like a foreigner in your own home country - is known as "reverse culture shock" and is common for expats when they return home after a long stint overseas.
So, when preparing to move back, keep in mind that you will have the moments of reverse culture shock - a feeling of isolation, pessimism towards your homeland actions and attitudes and resisting family and friends and it will be quite difficult to adjust in the beginning. Be patient though and give yourself time to settle back in. These things will take time to appear normal again. If you're returning home after living abroad for 10 years, try following suggestions to avoid reverse culture shock.
- Accepting you have changed is key to keeping yourself grounded after returning from abroad. Instead of focusing on how much everything around you has stayed the same, focus on all the positive changes you have made from leaving and returning.
- Allow yourself to readjust comfortably and try to get involved in the local community easily.
- Give yourself plenty of time to settle back into your old home country.
- If possible, try to find work in the same culture you just came from. For example, if you lived in China, you may want to consider waiting tables at a Chinese restaurant to help you go back.
- Writing down how you feel is a great way to release stress. The notes you jot down will later serve as a reference point for you to look back on when you are feeling alone, offering you a chance to consider how you made it through the same feelings before.
- Implement the things that you've learned while living abroad and use them in your new life in your home country.
- Lastly, if possible, plan your next trip abroad and go back to the place you love. Looking forward to the future most often makes you appreciate the now.
Living abroad has probably changed you for the better. So, in many aspects, you may feel sad to restart your life in your home country. Turn off that sadness and try to embrace yourself and focus on the good things that came along with it. At the end of the process through, you'll be able to enjoy being back to your home country.