What do you do when you have lived abroad and have decided it’s time to move home?
Whether it’s because your job has wound up, you miss home or things didn’t work out as planned, moving back home, or ‘re-entry’, is a big decision which can be both exciting and stressful.
One of the very first things you will need to consider is costs. These can include the cost of flights home, excess baggage, moving furniture and other property and migration services.
You will also need to consider having enough funds to support yourself during any period you are not working. Assess your financial situation carefully and ensure you have enough to cover living costs upon your return.
If you don’t have a job or a house to go back to, spend time researching properties and jobs before you leave. Have an idea of where you want to rent or buy a property, costs and availability. If you are jobless, start preparing your CV or even apply for jobs while still abroad. This will help you put down roots and get settled as soon as possible.
Just as you may have experienced a culture shock when you first moved abroad, moving back home can bring on similar feelings. This reverse culture shock can be disorientating and unsettling.
It may be the cost of things or the different pace of life. Maybe home just seems boring and un-exotic, or maybe you feel out of place in your own culture.
Consider your move back home as a transition and a learning experience, and use the time to renew old interests, rebuild relationships and remember the little things you loved about your home.
A few good ways to help speed up the transition include hanging out with like-minded people that enjoy travelling or have also spent time abroad, and journaling your feelings and thoughts. You can also keep your foreign connections alive by staying in contact with old friends and workmates to assist in the transition process.
It’s also important to keep healthy during this stressful time by eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep.
Ensure you remain optimistic, open-minded and aware of the challenges and differences waiting for you upon re-entry.
Most importantly, consider moving back home as an exciting new start and another exciting opportunity to look forward to, just as moving abroad was!