Repatriation – Moving Back Home From Abroad Can Be Unexpectedly Difficult

In the current climate, many people, including Expats, are losing their jobs. This often entails having to move back home after spending a significant amount of time in another country.

Relocating is difficult in itself, but if you have to move against your will, then this can make the experience worse, due to negative feelings, and demotivation.

Beyond the aspects of packing, moving, and logistics, here’s a few tips of what to prepare for during the repatriating experience, whether it’s voluntary or not –

  1. Home may no longer feel like home. Now that you’ve been living in another culture, you have inevitably adapted to it. This means you may have altered your perception on cultural, political, or social issues. You may have developed new habits, or be used to speaking a new language. Perhaps you have been eating dramatically different foods, and discussions have revolved around different topics. So, when you arrive home, and you try to connect with your friends and family there, you will most likely feel an uncomfortable distance as you readjust to being back.
  2. Connect with something familiar. The same rules about building a network apply when you go home, and you’ll no doubt want to keep a connection to the place you left behind. Seek out the foreign Embassy, or Consulate from that country that’s nearest to your home, and try to get involved with cultural events, for example, so that your transition is a little less “shocking” and you can stay in touch with the people and trends from that country.
  3. Be patient. It’s going to take some time to adjust to being back home. You’ll most likely get in touch quickly with the things you miss, as well as start comparing lifestyles. Some things will be better, some will not. It’s important to understand that the move back home can be harder, in part because you expect everything to be like it was before you left, and you learn that you’ve changed. So, be patient with yourself, and start creating new friends, and activities to ease your transition.

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