It's all over, huh?
You've had your grand adventure abroad and now, whether you like it or not (maybe both) - you're due to move back to your home country.
Here are a few ideas to consider as you prepare to return:
Remember that your life has probably changed more than you realize while living overseas. Don't expect your old life in your home country to be exactly like it was when you left. Chances are, your friends and family at home have probably changed, too. Just like your move abroad, going home is a relocation and you should expect there to be challenges - logistically, mentally and emotionally.
Check with Customs: Find out ahead of time what is currently prohibited from entry into your country, and exit from the country in which you've been residing. It doesn't make any sense to bring things hoping that they are permitted. This can lead to invasive searches, fines, and in some cases, prison.
Enjoy Your Remaining Time Abroad - The last thing you want is to sit on a plane on the way home with a long list of what you didn't do while living overseas. In ExpatExchange.com's Living Section, we have posted an article about taking advantage of being an expatriate. Don't miss out while you're abroad!
Go Easy on the Storytelling - We've had a lot of expatriates discuss negative reactions from their old friends when they go overboard with their accounts of life abroad. It's hard for people that haven't lived overseas to understand how life changing the expatriate lifestyle can be. So, these friends can become tired of stories describing it - especially if they include complaints about how boring life is now that they are back home.
Consider Financial Implications - You're going to have to cancel utilities, close accounts of all kinds and prepare to set up similar services back at home. Make a plan to ensure that you do this in an organized and timely manner to avoid unnecessary stress at either end of your move.
For a more detailed repatriation checklist provided by Alexandra Tanski, click HERE
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First Published: Jul 09, 2004