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Caught Between Cultures: How to Repatriate with Ease


For many people, returning "home" is easy — you get to see your friends and family again and enjoy all the activities you left behind in the first place. However, if you have been away for a long time, the transition back home is harder. Be prepared for an emotional ride, but know that you can repatriate. In this article, we share helpful tips to help ease your transition home.

Accept that Things Have Changed

Even if you have only been gone for a short time, you will notice plenty of changes when you get home, especially in your friends and family. They will have grown, changed their appearances, and developed new interests. Your community will also look different because businesses will have closed and new ones will have opened up. You will still be home, but may have to learn how to navigate the area again.

Also, remember that you have changed, too. You can't help it — new experiences cause people to grow and change their perceptions and expectations.

Be Prepared to Make Tough Decisions

Change is always hard, but it's especially hard when you're trying to repatriate. You seem caught between cultures and you have to choose how you are going to live your life now. Ultimately, it will come down to choosing the lifestyle that makes you happy. If that means living in a small apartment or eating foreign food, so be it.

Don't Expect Everyone to Welcome You with Open Arms

If you're lucky, your friends and family will throw a party to celebrate your return home. However, your old circle of friends may have expanded, disbanded or relocated themselves, which makes it harder for you to fit back into social groups. 

Once your welcome home party is over, and you begin to settle, try to make new connections with those who appreciate where you have been on your journey to ease yourself back into home. Friends come and go, and this difficult process really makes you appreciate the relationships in your life that remain constant, such as family.

Take a Serious Look at Your Finances

You have to adjust to a new job and a new way of life. Consider how the cost of living is different in your home country and be ready to adjust your finances accordingly. For instance, you might have been able to afford a maid while abroad, but that's no longer practical at home. Give yourself extra time to get your finances in order because it's often more challenging than you anticipate.

Coming home is bittersweet, and it definitely incites mixed emotions. However, if you take the time to prepare, you can repatriate with ease. Good luck!


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