Moving back home after living abroad can be a disorienting experience. Things in your hometown have likely changed since you moved away, and this can be a complicated reality to encounter.
If you find yourself worrying that you won’t fit in at home again, remember that you’re not alone. Most people have mixed feelings about returning home after a long while, but there are ways you can navigate through this confusing time.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of 8 small things you can do to make this transition easier.
1. Plan Ahead
Long-distance moves are always challenging, and moving back home after living overseas can be especially tough. From saying goodbye to your friends and peers to navigating the practicalities of an international journey, this is a time when you will likely have a lot on your plate.
At a time like this, planning ahead can help keep you organised. You’ll already be going through a difficult change, and leaving everything for the last minute will only overwhelm you further. Making to-do lists, searching for cheap flights, sorting out paperwork early, and packing beforehand are simple ways to make the move easier for yourself.
In addition, make sure to hire professional movers with Muval to ensure your stuff remains safe and sound during your long-distance move.
2. Reach Out And Reconnect
If you’ve been away from home for a long period, you’ve likely lost touch with some family and friends in your hometown. If you want to rebuild your social circle and reconnect with your old friends, reach out to them before you move back home.
Contact people you care about and let them know you’ll be back in town soon. Arrange coffee dates, shopping trips, or even a casual night-in to help you catch up on all that you’ve missed. After all, there’s no one better than your loved ones to help you feel at home again.
3. Manage Your Expectations
It is likely that you’ve changed a lot since you moved away, and it’s important to remember that the places and people back home might’ve changed, too.
Accepting this change and approaching it with the right mindset will help make your move easier. In fact, you can even look upon this as a new opportunity to explore your hometown in a way you never have before!
The most important thing is to give yourself time and space to adjust. If you’ve been away for a long while, reintegrating into your old lifestyle will take some time, so remember to be kind and patient with yourself.
4. Do What You Love
If you feel restless, bored, or lonely once you move back home, try not to succumb to those feelings. A great way to reconnect with your hometown is to re-experience the things you enjoyed before you moved away.
Hit up your favourite local breakfast spot, drive down old childhood roads, or take a stroll through the market to get familiar with your town again. You can even plan a day out with your friends or family to reintroduce yourself to the neighbourhood and catch up on all you’ve loved and missed.
Making time to do what you love will help you stay grounded and remind you of why you moved back home in the first place.
5. Prepare For A Reverse Culture Shock
A reverse culture shock is a common experience among expats returning home after a long period.
It refers to the feelings of disorientation, alienation, and unease that come with trying to adjust to life back home after living in a completely different environment. This is similar to culture shock experienced when travelling to a foreign place for the first time but can sometimes be more challenging.
Reverse culture shock can make your life at home feel strange and unusual. But just as you were able to integrate into the culture abroad, you’ll soon get used to your hometown once again.
6. Stay In Touch With Your Foreign Friends
Moving back home can often trigger feelings of loneliness because you’ve left behind people and communities that you closely bonded with. But just because you no longer see them daily doesn’t mean you have to abandon those connections!
Staying in touch with your foreign friends can help you navigate reverse culture shock and feel more connected at home. You can hop on facetime to catch up with them, share your hometown experiences, and reminisce about your time together in moments when you feel alone.
7. Find Your Local Community
While you can always reconnect with your loved ones once you’re back home, it is unrealistic to expect all old friendships to rekindle. In such circumstances, try to form new connections with people in your hometown.
Depending on your interests, sign up for sports clubs, dance classes, art groups, book clubs, or volunteer for a local charity. Engaging in simple activities can help you reintegrate with life at home and build meaningful connections with your local community.
8. Join Support Groups
Many big cities have active online communities or support groups for expats who move back home. If you ever feel lonely or detached, try searching for social media groups or online chat rooms built by expats in your area.
Communicating with like-minded people going through a similar experience can help you feel less uneasy and might even result in new, real-life friendships.
Moving back home after living abroad can be an emotionally challenging time. But if you stay grounded, reach out to your local community, and give yourself space to adjust, you’ll soon feel at home again.