Why do expats fear coming home

Why do expats fear coming home

Why do expats fear coming home

For expats who love their overseas lives, coming home can be the worst nightmare.

In the expat world, summertime isn’t just for holidays, it’s also the time when many contracts end, leaving professionals wondering where to go next. If there’s nothing fanciable on the horizon, a return to the home country is almost inevitable. For those who’ve never taken the chance to live outside the comfort zone of their country of birth, the expat life might seem either unique or brave, but those who haven’t experienced it can’t appreciate the way it changes those who’ve been there and done that.

These inevitable changes also impact the experience of returning home after several years or even longer overseas. The majority of expats don’t want to return, simply because they aren’t the person they were when they left. Beliefs and values aren’t the same, nor are previous perceptions of the home country. Habits and routines are changed, as are social perceptions, and the feeling of not belonging anywhere comes to the fore.

The interesting results of a recent study focused on the way external events are perceived when speaking a different language. One conclusion reached was that communicating in another tongue is actually creating a brand new world for the speaker, with his or her personality changing to suit the new reality and forcing the embracing of the new country as their own. If coming back to the home country is inevitable, clearly there are changes which must be made.

Recognising how your world views has changed is one, along with planning your arrival to include spending increased time with your family, identifying things you must to do to readjust to your present reality and saving time for yourself. It’s not the actual coming home that’s a problem as you’re simply revisiting a place you once knew, it’s your thoughts about coming home that are causing unwanted emotional upheaval. Once you’ve accepted that, coming home will be just another step along life’s road.

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