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To return

As an expat the concept of ‘home’ is something relative. We tend to end up where we are for a reason and because of the choice we made (and yes, even not making a choice and coming along with someone else is also inevitably a choice in itself). It could be work, love, challenge or dreams that bring us far away to the new. What we then meet over there and what keeps us away is a different story. Most people I’ve met as an expat tend to stay for love, family and lifestyle. Some stay for work, but many don’t stay long for this reason alone.

I’ve always had a strong bond to my native Sweden, even if I’ve lived away for a long time now. I chat to friends and family back home almost weekly. I get more support and love than I first thought was possible. Because love, care and friendship is never something given, but something you earn by who you are being for others and for yourself. In some ways my bond to my homeland is stronger now that I’m far away. 

The culture you bring with you to your new home will inevitably shape your experience. It makes some things easy to understand and adapt to and other things unspeakably hard to grasp.

For me, it’s likely that I one day will return to my native Sweden. If that’s for a long or short period of time, only time will tell. But the most important thing for me is that I’ll feel that it’s time. That it’s a decision that feels true then.

Because one of the things that scares many expats is that they’ve gotten so skilled to cope with new things, that they don’t quite know how to deal with the things that are old and familiar, yet so different from their life in the new home. I think we’re sometimes worried that the heart won’t have time to catch up with the logical decision of the mind. That we’ll find ourselves stranded in the old that was once our home and feel like a perfect stranger. Because as we’ve been away, everyone else’s lives have moved on. As they should have. And sometimes this leaves us feeling a bit lost in between.

There is responsibility in returning back home. Not towards other peoples expectations. Most of all to yourself. For the decicions made and the future steps that start now. That’s why you need to be in a place where you can back yourself up and own the decision to return, if it’s right for you.

The heart and the mind don’t always agree on what’s right, but when it comes to returning back home, make sure to bring them together and align their purpose. Otherwise there is a risk that returning back home will make you feel left out and alone.

If you are returning home after a time away overseas and not sure what to expect, send me an email to tee up a free chat. It’s a conversation worth having so that you can make a move that will serve you.