Does the thought of leaving expat life scare you? Do you think of what it means to transition back to your home country, a life that maybe feels familiar and foreign at the same time?.
Leaving expat life is a big decision, and one that many expats make for personal, financial, or professional reasons. As someone who has transitioned from prepat, to expat, to repat, to expat again, I have some tips that have helped me during times of change, uncertainty, and new beginnings.
Be Clear on Your WHY
Just as it is important to reflect on your WHY for becoming an expat, it is also important to be clear on what motivates you to return to life in your home country.
Whatever your reason may be for leaving your life as an expat, it’s the right decision for you, and it is personal.
Remember, nothing is permanent! There is an entire world waiting for you whenever you are ready to explore again.
Being an Expat Does Not Define Who You Are
Something I struggled with when I returned to the United States after being an expat was coming to terms that being an expat did not define who I was. I got used to being the friend who lived abroad, who always had adventures, who spoke different languages, and coming home made me feel like I lost a big part of myself that made me who I was.
There was definitely a period of adjustment, trying to find my feet. However, I just needed to remind myself that no matter where I was in the world, my status as an expat did not define who I was. I will always have my stories and experiences with me and that makes me who I am!
Stay Connected With Your Friends Abroad
Keeping in touch with friends is one of the best ways to keep connected to your life abroad. With so many methods of communication like WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and Zoom, it is easy to schedule a catch-up call with a friend.
I am so grateful for my community of people near and far and some of my dearest friends I have made are the friends I have met when abroad. Now, I have an incredibly vibrant network of people all over the world.
Brush Up on Your Language Skills
Even though you may not be living abroad anymore, there are still so many ways to keep up your language skills.
When I am back in the United States, I find local meetups and language exchanges that allow me to practice my French and Spanish and meet like-minded people!
I also try to watch movies in other languages as well as continue finding opportunities to speak when I can!
Don’t worry, you won’t lose all that hard work you put into learning a language if you practice it every so often!
Are you an expat that has recently transitioned into repat life? We would love to hear from you! What helped you during the time of transition?
by: Erin Colton-Enberg
Repatriation #1: Having to Consider Going Back
Repatriation #2 – Pros and Cons of Going Back
Repat: The Hardest Thing is Returning Home out of Necessity