As covered in my previous blog, coming home from an adventure abroad can be as challenging, if not more challenging, as starting an adventure abroad. Coming home can make one feel listless and directionless, but it shouldn’t be this way. Here’s how to be at peace with your decision to return home, wherever ‘home’ may be.
As hard as this may be, it’s important to recognize and stick with the reasons you decided to return home. Although it’s natural to question whether the benefits outweigh the downsides, thoughts like this are unproductive and should be limited as much as possible.
Rather than worrying about whether you made the ‘right’ decision, it’s best to recognize why you made that decision and make it ‘right’ subsequently.
Recognize life is not one big adventure
The reality is that life is not one big adventure. Even if this were possible, I think we’d yearn for breaks from it all; periods of stability to intersperse the hubbub of adventure. The scariest thing about returning home from a stimulating and rewarding expat life can be returning to a life of familiarity and routine. However this isn’t all bad, it enables us to rest and prepare for future adventures. It allows us to reflect on what we learned from our expat experience and to prepare for the next chapter with the rigor and vitality which only a period of rest and recuperation can allow.
Have fun planning the next adventure
If you’re anything like me, the ideas and planning stages of foreign excursions are half the fun of it all. They are an integral and very rewarding part of the whole process of traveling and/or living abroad.
Although the vast multiplicity of options of where to go and what to do can seem overwhelming at times, planning which of these options is most appealing and most viable is stimulating and exciting.
Don’t dwell on the fact your previous adventure is over, enjoy the process of thinking about the next one!
Yes, your life may be less exciting than it was before. Yes, you might feel like you have a less adventurous life than before. However, rather than dwelling on what your life abroad was like, I found it was best to just be grateful for the position I found myself returning to. Whilst I was leaving a ‘family’ behind in Taiwan, I tried to recognize that this was a support network that was by my side for one year and not twenty-one years.
Coming home for me meant returning to my closest friends and family, and this is something I remind myself to be grateful for. Whatever your reasons for returning home, the fact you actually made the move means there are certain things you can be grateful for wherever you return to.
By Oliver Sanders