While I was doing some research for an article, hence this question:
If you move back to your country of birth after living abroad for years, what is the term used to describe you?
When I ask this, I’m doing so seriously. It’s very important especially as many people find it so hard to, ‘re-assimilate,’ into the society they left. That’s why, I discovered recently that they have repatriation coaches. Yes, that’s an actual job.
So, you’re a returned citizen, but you’re not an expat because you’re back living in your native country. Though, for a time you may feel very much like one, with lots of things suddenly feeling very uncomfortable after you haven’t seen them for so long.
Reverse culture shock.
That’s the technical name for what can happen to you. It can be really bad for some people or not happen at all for others. Nobody can predict it, but you can certainly plan for it and put in place some methods and techniques for how to deal with it if it does come up.
Either way, living abroad does change you and it does change the way you feel about your native land.
For some of us, it makes us more patriotic and for some of us it’s something that is always in the back of our mind, even when we don’t realise it. On the other hand, some people wish to shun everything and everyone they’ve ever known and try to erase every memory they’ve ever had there. Sometimes they know why, sometimes they may not.
I have to wonder, knowing where I’ve lived and what I know as a result of my experiences, whether those who choose to leave the Mother Land forever, are running away or are truly happy and believe with every fibre of their being that their new setting really IS home.
I’m not convinced.