Returning Home After Life Abroad


Living somewhere completely new to what you’re used to is an insane experience. There’s so many emotions and things to deal with when it comes to moving overseas, or just far from home in general. And yet it is so addicting!

The first time I left home for an extended amount of time, was when I moved to Los Angeles for 3 months, then straight on to The Philippines for another 3 months, to study and work alongside Youth With A Mission.

To say these 6 months were life changing would be an understatement. At 18, my world suddenly got so much bigger – I made friends from all around the world,  got to experience living somewhere new, and had adventures I never would have had if I’d stayed home.

That being said, I was definitely homesick quite often. I missed my family, friends, just the familiarities from home in general.

And yet, before I’d even booked my return ticket home to Canada, I’d signed on to study film in Australia for 3 months, only stopping home for the summer before packing up again. I was officially bitten by the travel bug, but I didn’t realize the extent of how it had changed me just yet.

Returning after the 6 months that felt like a lifetime, deep down I knew things wouldn’t simply return to normal, yet I was secretly hoping I would easily fall back into the life I’d left behind in Canada.

But of course it wasn’t the smooth transition I’d hoped for, because I was different. Not in a pretentious, I-have-the-key-to-life kind of way, but more so in the fact that my eyes were opened to life outside of my hometown. I arrived with a batch of international friends to keep in touch with, insight into new cultures, and an itch to take off and leave again.

It’s a feeling that still, two years later, hasn’t seemed to leave me as I’ve only remained home for 3 month increments since that first trip. I absolutely love living in new places, along with the crazy ups and downs that comes with it.

Home now feels like a relative word, because there’s something so satisfying about making your own roots somewhere completely new. Finding spots in cities that become your favourites, or even figuring out how to open a bank account become great triumphs.

This video really explains how I’ve felt over the past couple years. Sarah Nourse, an American who originally moved to Switzerland to study has had a very similar story to myself. She experienced the hardships of returning home, and also made the choice to continue travelling. The whole video is great, but if you prefer, skip to around 8:12, she puts this particular feeling I’m talking about into words so well.

Moving abroad and stretching your mind for a season is an experience I’d recommend to anyone and everyone, however be warned, it is very addicting! Although it comes with many challenges, I am so content with living my life out of a suitcase, and couldn’t imagine it any other way.

How To Adjust to Returning Home After Living Abroad
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I’d love to hear any of your experiences from moving or studying abroad. How was returning home for you? Comment below 🙂

5 thoughts on “Returning Home After Life Abroad”

  • I just moved to Sri Lanka about 6 months ago, and it has been a shock! But I also love it, and I doubt I will ever be able to go back to Australia and be completely happy again. Of course I have backpacked and travelled extensively already but it just isn’t the same as making a home somewhere is it?

    • Yes, I completely agree! Getting rooted in a new country and starting your life fresh is a completely different experience from travelling for holiday purposes.

      It’s funny because I’m in the process of making your home country, Australia into my new home 🙂 I guess it doesn’t have much to do with the place, as long as it’s not your native country it seems much more exciting, doesn’t it? 😉

  • It completely changes you doesn’t it?! I lived in England for 7 months and ever since coming back home to Sydney I’ve just not been able to shake the intense wanderlust and feeling that there’s more to life than what we’ve grown up with. Thank you for sharing this!

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