What to expect when you move back home
The person who returns home after living abroad is often not the same person who went.
Not every person who has lived overseas ends up repatriating, but many do – especially if the reason you moved abroad in the first place was because of an overseas work placement. You’d think coming back ‘home’ would be easy. But the person who returns home after living abroad is often not the same person who went.
Here are a few common challenges of repatriation:
Lack of understanding
It can be like trying to find a square peg back into a round hole.
If someone hasn’t lived abroad then they don’t have the same perspective as you and their lives will have carried on along one path, whereas you will have changed. Even if you haven’t even tried to change, or don’t know that you have changed, the truth is you will have changed simply by the fact of living abroad!
So one of the biggest challenges in repatriation is adjusting to your new life outlook. It can be like trying to find a square peg back into a round hole.
Your friends’ reaction
Try to keep your old friendships, even if the relationship had changed, but also seek new friendships more relevant to the person you are now.
The truth is that some people don’t want to hear about your living abroad experiences. Yes, you know what a fulfilling and life-changing experience you’ve had but some people just aren’t interested. And even if they do show interest, they don’t really get where you’re coming from – not if they haven’t lived abroad themselves.
Of course, there will be some people who will be envious of your experiences and this can be a positive and a negative thing. Whilst one group of people will want to hear all about it and show genuine enthusiasm tinged with a ‘I’d love to do that!” others might seem almost resentful of your experiences and leave you with a sour taste in your mouth.