An Expat Returning Home

Just reading this article on the BBC site about expats returning back to their home country only to find that the culture shock is greater than the initial culture shock they had moving abroad in the first place.  And I would have to agree.  It is an interesting experience this returning home.  Now to some degree it helps that I have returned home to where I once lived, but still it is strange.

Certainly there were things about Bournemouth that drove me crazy and I longed for Canada, but I had also accumulated friends and a life living in Britain over the past 5 years and the opportunities that living in Britain afford you that you don’t get living in Canada.  And also, in the time that I had been gone, my friends and life in Canada moved on.  I had kept in touch to a degree, but when you aren’t around to connect regularly, except for some long term very close friends, other’s lives move on, and you are not part of them.

And of course it also doesn’t help that the vision of your return is not what it turns out to be so you have a double whammy trying to fit back in and feel like you belong.  It can be a lonely process that’s for sure.  The article which can be found here, comments how there are three stages: 1) excitement and enthusiasm to come home and reconnect and create a buzz each time you see old friends; 2) Reverse culture shock – experience of stress trying to fit back in; and, 3) Acceptance and adjustment as you establish new routines etc..

Well I can say I am still in step 2 and will likely be there for awhile.  I sit still and try to hear what the Universe is telling me.  Trying to hear where it is telling me to be, to go or to stay.  I wish it would talk louder sometimes though … and life goes on.