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Tips for Citizens Returning to Their Home Country

Posted on April 16, 2014, 09:37 AM, by Ana Ferrer under Adjusting to Your International Move

Returning to your home country after some time abroad can be difficult and exciting at the same time. Not only will you have to mentally prepare yourself to move back home, but you'll have to get your affairs in order, just as you did before you left. 

Keep these things in mind when you're getting ready to return to your home country and you'll ensure that you have a smooth transition to your home country.

Travelling Home

Proper planning and preparation is essential to ensure a worry-free move. Many times your moving company can help you organize any documentation, customs regulations and other services if needed. 

Remember it's important to do a thorough background check on any international moving companies you may be interested in hiring. The last thing you'll want is to move back home and never have your belongings arrive.

You'll need to show proof of citizenship: a passport or in some cases a passport card or birth certificate might be allowed.  

Cell Phones

When you moved overseas, you probably cancelled your plan with whatever wireless provider you had in favor of a local one that would undoubtedly be less expensive. Well, the same applies to moving home. Chances are, you'll need to update or change your phone plan or carrier altogether. When you're in between carriers, it's an opportunity to shop around for the deal that works best for you. 

Finances

The four major U.S. banks are Chase, Wells-Fargo, Bank of America and Citi. While you may have kept your account open while away, you'll need to make sure your accounts are still open and re-activate them if necessary.

If you're looking for a good place to store your life's savings, internet banks often offer higher interest rates on accounts than brick-and-mortar banks, so if you're money is going to sit there, it might as well work for you and collect as much interest as possible. 

If you earned income while you lived abroad, you will have to file and pay taxes on that income, but there are requirements that must be met in order to exclude yourself from having to file.

Housing

If you don't have a place to call home back in your native country before leaving your adoptive home, contacting a Realtor or real estate agent can be helpful. If you have someone you trust that can help you scope out potential apartments or houses before your arrival that can also be helpful. If you don't find housing before coming home, chances are you'll either be in a hotel room for a while or on a friend's sofa. 

Something else to keep in mind is your reentry into your home country. You might think that no matter how much time you've spent away, it will always be home, but spending a few years away can be enough to cause reverse cultural shock when you come back. 

Cultural Shock

A helpful tip for overcoming any initial shock would be to remember how you felt when you first moved away. 

During the first few weeks in a new country, chances are you felt nothing but excitement. Everything was new and fresh. After the excitement wore off, feelings of homesickness probably set in. After some time you felt more comfortable with your new country and started to adopt the new culture and then eventually you started to integrate the "old" and "new."

Moving home after time away can usually trigger the same feelings, so it's important to acknowledge that and prepare yourself. For many who return home, it's difficult to readjust to your circle or friends, old habits and even some traditions. Use these few tips to help you re-acclimate yourself to your home:

  • Give yourself time and don't try to rush the process. Give yourself at least a month to settle back into your routines or before jumping back into the job market if you can. 
  • Stay healthy. The stress of moving is enough to cause some wear and tear, so it's important to maintain healthy habits once you're back home. 
  • Get engaged in your community. If you feel like you're not reconnecting as well as you'd hoped, joining a new group or activity can help reduce some of that stress. 

Whichever way is most comfortable for you, moving home after living abroad can still be life-altering. Trying to make it as smooth as possible with preparation is the best way to combat extra stress.  

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