Homeward Bound: Tips for the Resettling Expatriate
If you’ve been travelling or living overseas for any length of time, the eventual return home becomes as big an event as leaving was. If you’ve moved overseas to live amidst the vibrant culture and diversity of Singapore, then the shock of reaching home again is going to be even more pronounced.
Many expatriates expect the return home to be nothing but hugs, joy, and sharing stories of their life abroad, only to run into intense bouts of depression, confusion and alienation. It’s all about the mindset you hold onto, so here is Allied Pickfords’ professional advice on how to approach the move back home:
Get your affairs in order early
Moving home after months or years of living in Singapore, or anywhere overseas, is more like moving away than most expats expect. You may have a previous life at home to fall back on, which you obviously didn’t when first moving out. But that life has been on hold or in stasis a long time and will need hard work and attention to get working again, even in the purely bureaucratic sense. Minimise the number of things you have to worry about once you touch down on native soil. Prepare bank accounts, phone service providers, living arrangements and other key fixtures of life well before you leave Singapore.
Brace yourself for change…
No matter how much folks at home have missed you, their lives have gone on in your absence. Maybe you kept in close touch, maybe you were lax in that regard. Either way, you need to be prepared that home will have changed in many small (or large) ways while you were gone, and don’t let those changes make you a stranger in your own land.
Honestly, the best way to avoid this is to try harder to speak with the people at home who you’re close with every couple of months at least. Not only will you keep stronger bonds for when you return, but you’ll be genuinely caught up on most of the happenings since your departure.
…but don’t expect a lot of it
Be prepared for a wave of powerful ennui, once you’ve been back home for a few weeks and realise that while you may have grown and changed through your overseas experience, home and the people there have not. Many expats report feeling disappointed and cut off after their homecoming, only able to see the world through new, more demanding eyes.
Don’t let returning to your old country wash away the growth and learning you enjoyed overseas, but try not to impose unrealistic expectations either. Travel, like any experience, changes you, and while you cannot go back to seeing your old haunts through naïve eyes you can always find new ways to use and reclaim those places as part of your ongoing journey.
To find out more about Allied Pickfords’ moving services, or to book a consultation, visit www.alliedpickfords.com.sg or call +65 6862 4700.
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