Surviving being an expat & repat
No matter how much you loved the expat life, repatriation is nothing to fear, nor is it something that you should be ashamed of or feel as though you have to explain. In order to survive life after being an expat, you must accept that you may need to rebuild or cut specific relationships, which is why it is paramount that you do your utmost to stay in the loop the best you can while living abroad.
Whilst you may come across a number of challenges during the process of returning to your native country, know that there are numerous things you can do while you are still living overseas, prior to returning home, in order to cope with the reverse culture shock and beat the repatriation blues. In this blog, we will be explaining the five top tips for surviving life after being an expat and returning home as a repat.
Stay In The Loop
Surviving life after being an expat can be difficult, which is why it is paramount that you stay in the loop at home while living abroad. Staying in the loop is far easier said than done because, after all, you could be living across the other side of the globe and the time difference between your home country and where you are living may impact how much contact you have with your friends and family back home.
You might be living the dream life right now, but you never know when things might start to go wrong! Staying connected with your family and friends when you live overseas will ultimately make moving back to your original home country easier, enabling you to settle in much faster and help you to cope with the sudden change.
Don’t Give Up Making New Friends
Another top tip for surviving life after being an expat is to not give up making new friends when you return home. You may find that after spending a certain period away in a new country, thing at home will have changed, meaning you may lose friends that you once relied on. Whilst making new friends is one of the many challenges repats face as it can be an upsetting acceptance process, being able to build close friendships and working relationships is also one of the best ways to overcome your expat blues.
In order to make new friends successfully, you must make a conscious effort to get out and about, whether it is to your local community centre or by joining an expat or repat community group on Facebook. It’s easy to be discouraged, but don’t be! There are like-minded people out there; you just need to keep trying!
Focus On The Good
Surviving a reverse culture shock can be challenging, but do your best to focus on the positive aspects of the move. If it helps, write the positive aspects of the move down on paper and look at them when you start feeling low. Likewise, allow yourself to be sad. Don’t hide it! Why not put on your favourite song that reminds you of the time you spent abroad or watch your most-loved movie? You should never feel guilty as an expat or repat. No matter how much you loved living overseas, there are so many positive things you can focus on in your native country.
Give Yourself Time
It doesn’t matter whether you have recently moved to a new country or have decided to return to your native country, it is paramount that you give yourself time to adjust to your new way of life. As an expat, you will face multiple challenges when you first move abroad. From loneliness and relationship problems to coping with cultural differences, there are a number of aspects expats face that they believe they can adapt to in a click, but it takes weeks, if not months or even years to fully become accustomed to life overseas.
Similarly, repats can struggle to adjust to life back home. Most importantly, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to adjust. Provided that you surround yourself with people who understand what you are going through, surviving life after being an expat or repat is simple!
Try To Avoid The Expat Blues
Though expat life isn’t about lounging in the sun day in and day out, many expats and repats alike suffer from ‘expat blues’. Whilst the expat blues can’t be avoided completely, there are some things you can do to help prevent feeling low, such as finding a healthy balance once again. It might feel as though you are starting again, and in some ways, you are, but as an expat or repat, this is the perfect opportunity to create a life you love. In order to raise your self-esteem, focus on the positives, continue to connect with people who you love, and those that love you, and take good care of yourself!
We won’t be the first to tell you that life as an expat and repat can be difficult, but it certainly isn’t unbeatable. After all, so many people have moved abroad to return to their native country a few years down the line, and if they can do it, so can you! From making the effort to stay in the loop to focusing on the positives of your big move and giving yourself time to adjust, there are numerous tips which you should consider when facing life after being an expat – these are just five! How do you plan to survive life after being an expat? Let us know!
Have you considered living abroad? Contact us today for more information on the benefits of moving abroad, and find out if it is the right move for you!