expat life when is it time to go back home

When is it time to go home? 5 signals Expatriates should look for

Moving to a different country can be exciting. But it can also bring on feelings of homesickness, culture shock, and loneliness. When is the right time to start thinking about going home? Here are some tips to help you decide when it’s time to pack up and repatriate. Knowing when it’s time to go home can be difficult but understanding yourself, your values, and your needs will help make the decision easier.

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Table of Content

Financial struggles

This may sound banal but probably it’s the most important point of our list. While the psychological aspect is essential for your well being, financial struggles should be the ringing bell that your mission is about to end.

Of course it is normal to struggle in the beginning, especially if you are looking for a job. That’s why before moving your should establish a financial plan.

  • How much do you have saved?
  • How long can you live on it (including renting, food, and other basic needs)?
  • Which is the budget you need to move back home? After the pandemic the price of plane tickets skyrocketed!

It’s important to make sure you have enough money to keep living in your foreign home for as long as you want. If financial struggles are starting to pile up, and your savings account is getting lower and lower, it might be time to start looking at alternatives.

Before packing your bags, think about the stability of going back home and the role money plays in making your decision.

financial struggles
Photo from Pexels.com. Credits to Cottonbro Studios.

Feeling lonely and isolated

One of the most common horror stories shared by expats is loneliness and struggles to make friends. You may have moved abroad with a host of expectations, but if you find yourself feeling lonely, unnoticed, or isolated in your new home, it might be time to start making plans to move back.

Ask yourself whether these feelings are temporary or chronic and consider how going back home may help you in the long run. Making friends in a new city, country can be challenging but should be fun!

Remember that you have endless possibilities of things to try and do that could potentially let you meet new people. Socializing isn’t that hard! If you are looking for some ideas to socializing in a new city check out our 12 EASY ways for making friends in a new city.

feeling lonely and isolated expat life

Cultural burnout & homesickness

Being an expat can take its toll on any individual – adapting to a new place and culture can be a process of both exploration and rejection. It’s expected that you’ll have moments where the language, customs, and routines of your adopted home will begin to wear on you.

Homesickness for friends, family, and the familiar is also normal. If your feelings toward the culture of your adopted home aren’t improving over time, and you aren’t able to overcome homesickness, you should take this as another sign to consider leaving.

Difficulty adjusting to a new lifestyle

Adjusting to a new lifestyle as an expat can be a difficult journey. If you’re still struggling to accept and adapt to a new lifestyle, it might be time to consider leaving and returning home.

This can be paired with the point above. It could mean that you’re having difficulty accepting the food, customs, language, or overall culture of your adopted country and that these struggles are impacting your emotional well being.

Don’t ignore the signs of discontentment. If you are unable to get out of your unpleasant routine it might be time for you to find another place where you feel more comfortable living.

sadness expat life when is it time to move home
Photo from Pexels.com. Credits to Felipe Cespedes.

Negative changes in health or mental well being

If you’ve been an expat for several years, it’s normal to feel homesick or lonely at times. But adjustments to a new lifestyle should improve over time.

If the opposite is true, and you find yourself feeling increasingly depressed and anxious, despite having established connections in your newly adopted country, consider it’s time for you to leave.

Most important: a decline in physical and mental health should not be ignored. Returning home to your supporting family and friends, can help you improving your health and well being.

One last word about when is it time to go home for expats

Ultimately, the decision to go home is deeply personal and unique to each expatriate’s circumstances. It’s crucial to regularly reassess your situation, listen to your intuition, and consult with trusted confidants. Remember, there’s no shame in acknowledging that a particular expat experience has run its course, and going home can open up new avenues for growth, fulfillment, and happiness in the next chapter of your life.

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