You’re back in your home town. You chose this. You were looking forward to this. But now you’re in a bit of a rut and you’re not sure how to get out of it. And to make things worse, you don’t feel like you can complain. What right do you have to complain about not feeling good when you were the one that willingly made the decision to move home? And you don’t want to offend your family and friends. They’re not the problem, and you’re not rejecting their lifestyle, you just don’t feel as though you fit in anymore.
You my friend have a case of the post-abroad blues. It’s like the post-holiday blues on steroids.
When you come home after living abroad there’s a bit of a honeymoon period. It begins with the high of reuniting with family and friends and rediscovering the city you once called home. You’re excited to experience everything you’ve been missing about your home country now that you’re finally back. For Aussies (like me) this means heading to the beach, going out for breakfast, enjoying delicious coffee, spending time outdoors, having BBQs with friends and trying out all the new restaurants and bars that have opened since you’ve been away.
But once the enthusiasm dies down (and it will only ever last for a limited time), you start to miss your life abroad. You think of the friends you left behind and how they must all be hanging out together and having fun without you. You think of all the conveniences you took for granted when you were living there and now it seems unthinkable that you don’t have them – ridiculously cheap and effective internet, a public transport system that is quick and reliable, a company that covered half your public transport costs (okay so maybe that’s just France, I’ll always love it for that) – the list goes on and on.
And you start to feel pretty shitty. And pretty unsure of your decision to move home in the first place.
So how do you get out of this funk? The quickest way I know is through gratitude.
What are you grateful for right now? What are you grateful for today? What are the little graces and conveniences that are showing up every day in your life that you’re skimming over?
We’re so quick to notice all the things that we used to have living abroad that are now lacking in our life back home. And yet all this time spent thinking about the things we’re missing out on just takes our attention away from everything that we do have.
So here’s a quick exercise to help pull you out of the post-abroad blues. And the good part is you can repeat this as often as you like. As soon as you feel yourself slipping back into restlessness and life after abroad boredom, just answer the following questions:
- What’s one thing that you’re grateful for in this moment?
- What’s one thing that you’re grateful for about the city you live in?
- Who is one person you get to spend time with that you’re grateful for?
- What’s one convenience in your life today that you’re grateful for?
- What’s one choice you made today that you’re grateful you got to make?
If you start noticing these things day in and day out, then you’ll begin to appreciate all of the great things about your home and the incredible freedom that you have in your life. Because isn’t that what travel and living abroad is all about anyway? Having the ultimate FREEDOM to live the life that you want.