Moving home after living abroad wasn’t something I gave much thought to when I first left the country.
But I did I come to Thailand expecting to dip in, then dip out after at most a year, then ended up staying a year and a half.
That’s the beautiful thing about life; it can’t be calculated.
What brings you abroad might not keep you there or maybe you find other reasons for staying.
Personally, I came abroad to heal myself and for the cultural aspects. But the further I got into my journey, the further, yet closer, I felt distance from my culture.
In a lot of ways, I knew there was more growing to do. That until I felt solidified in my growth and the woman I was becoming, I couldn’t come home. But I knew the longer I was gone, the more I missed (Black) American culture.
Traveling the world and moving abroad gives you the chance to create a community, but everything is more transient. Which makes it hard to stay connected with any group of people for long. Even dating can be difficult.
On top of that, people wanted me to come home and others were saying “why would you ever come back to America; life is so easy here?”
But whatever decision I made would come with a sacrifice.
Hmmmmm, what to do?
Before making a choice ask yourself “what will bring the most value?”
With all the options in the world, being true to what you want in the immediate future is worth honing in on, but also focusing on long-term goals.
For me, I didn’t want to keep missing monumental moments like births, weddings, and even funerals.
When you’re so far away from what feels like home, you realize the show still goes on without you.
Still don’t know if moving back home after living abroad is for you? These are a few things to consider:
What do you need right now?
This is going to change from time to time because we’re always growing. Our desires and needs are going to fluctuate based on what we’re experiencing in life.
If you are someone who needs more stability, then being in one spot for a while can help. It will allow you to build community, get various aspects of your life in order, and see the good in perseverance.
If you are someone who wants international experiences and to travel, living abroad can give you that for sure. Even if you move to a country that’s closer to your home, it can still offer you that global immersion you are looking for.
Or if you still feel mentally exhausted from the rat race in America and need more time to work through unsettling emotions. That’s fine too, take your time.
Whatever the case is, be COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY HONEST!
What do you need right now? Not just what you want.
List out the reasons you need it and then decide to stick with it regardless of what anyone else says.
Are you supported?
You can do whatever you want in life! But support plays a role in major transitions.
Will you have loved one’s helping you navigate through the challenges going back will bring?
Do you have a community that will help you get back on your two feet as you re-acclimate yourself to a familiar yet foreign place?
You think you know how home will be, but you’ve changed (and things might have stayed the same).
If you prepare to come back, it’s crucial to—at the very least—have emotional support. Reverse culture shock is real and you’ll have to manage life differently than you did before.
Plenty of people leave their home countries because of political, economic, emotional, and especially familial issues.
If you don’t have people you can call on, it makes going back home that much harder, but not impossible. You can also go to therapy to help the transition.
What scares you about moving back home?
This is another opportunity to be totally honest with yourself. My urge to be on the go because of fear and escapism and trying to outrun myself.
If you get the core of what’s scaring you, you can ultimately heal your relationship with that fear.
Then you can decide whether staying in one place is for you, or moving back home.
These are just some things to consider when making such an enormous decision.
P.S You can’t go wrong with any decision you make. This is your life, you know what’s best for you and I’m sure before reading this, you already knew what you wanted to do.
If you’re thinking about moving back to your home country:
- Get therapy
- Following these coping tips
- Give yourself time to adjust (at least 6 months)
- Know that your decision doesn’t have to be permanent
Thinking about moving back home? Drop a comment below.