The Challenges and Opportunities of Returning Home After Living Abroad

Returning home after living abroad can be a rollercoaster. Let’s navigate the highs and lows of this exciting transition.
The Love Central - The Challenges and Opportunities of Returning Home After Living Abroad The Love Central - The Challenges and Opportunities of Returning Home After Living Abroad
The Challenges and Opportunities of Returning Home After Living Abroad
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Returning home after living abroad is a unique journey that many Africans in the diaspora face. In this article, we’ll delve into the specifics of these challenges and opportunities, providing practical advice to help you navigate this significant life change

So you’ve been conquering the world, living it up in London, New York, or maybe even Tokyo. Now, the winds of change are whispering of home, of familiar faces, and delicious mama’s cooking. Returning home after living abroad can be a rollercoaster. Let’s navigate the highs and lows of this exciting transition.

The Love Central - Returning Home After Living Abroad
Returning home after living abroad can be a rollercoaster Image source Freepik

The Challenges of Returning Home After Living Abroad

1. Reverse Culture Shock –  When Lagos Feels Like London

Remember that crazy time you first adjusted to life in, say, New York City?  Well, get ready for round two, but this time, it’s called reverse culture shock. 

Your favorite childhood hangout, that bustling market in Accra, might be a shadow of its former glory, and those inside jokes with your friends from back home might land with a thud. This is totally normal! You’ve grown and evolved, and so has your home country.

2. The Friendship Factor –  Picking Up Where We Left Off in Dakar?

Let’s be honest, friendships take work, and distance can make things tricky. When you return to your hometown in Bamako, some friendships might rekindle effortlessly, fueled by shared stories and laughter over endless cups of Senegalese coffee. Others, well, life happens. People move on, make new connections, and priorities shift.

3. The Job Hunt Hustle –  Will Your Parisian Marketing Skills Translate in Cape Town?

You’ve aced the art of international marketing in Paris, but will your foreign experience translate to the job market back home in Cape Town?

Don’t sweat it, that diploma in digital marketing or your project management experience from Singapore is valuable!

The Challenges of Returning Home After Living Abroad

The Changemaker Advantage 

Living abroad opens your eyes to different ways of doing things. You’ve seen innovative solutions and efficient systems in Berlin that could be a game-changer for waste management back home in Johannesburg. This is your chance to be a changemaker!

The Boss Move 

There’s no better time to be your own boss than after returning home after living abroad. You’ve got a global perspective, a network of contacts from all corners of the world, and a thirst for adventure. 

Why not turn your passion for that specific type of Thai curry you discovered in Bangkok into a food truck business in Lagos?

Reconnecting with Roots

Returning home after living abroad provides a profound opportunity to reconnect with your cultural roots. Engaging in local traditions, such as participating in Yoruba festivals or attending Igbo weddings, can deepen your connection to your heritage. This cultural immersion can provide a strong sense of belonging and identity.

Practical Tips for a Smooth Transition

1. Prepare Mentally and Emotionally

Anticipate challenges and understand that they are a normal part of the process. Talking to others who have returned home can provide valuable insights and support. Joining online forums or local support groups for returnees can also be helpful.

2. Plan Financially

Research the financial landscape of your home country and plan accordingly. Open a local bank account, understand tax obligations, and budget for the transition period. For example, knowing the cost of living differences can help you adjust your budget appropriately.

3. Rebuild Your Network

Reconnect with former colleagues, friends, and family before you return. Attend networking events and join local professional groups to expand your connections. Leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn can also help you re-establish your professional network.

The Love Central - Returning Home After Living Abroad
Open a local bank account Image source Freepik

4. Embrace Cultural Re-adjustment

Be open to relearning cultural norms and practices. Engaging in local activities, such as community events or traditional ceremonies, can facilitate smoother cultural reintegration. Embracing these practices can help you feel more connected to your community.

5. Leverage Your Experience

Use your international experience to your advantage. Highlight your global perspective and skills in job applications and interviews. For example, emphasizing your ability to navigate cross-cultural environments can set you apart in the competitive job market.

Conclusion: Returning Home After Living Abroad

Returning home after living abroad is a complex but rewarding journey. The challenges, such as re-adjusting to cultural norms and managing financial changes, are significant but manageable with proper preparation. 

The opportunities, from reconnecting with your roots to leveraging your international experience, are immense. Embrace the journey and make the most of the opportunities that come with returning home after living abroad.

READ: Stressed? Visit a Museum! The Surprising Power of Art Therapy

Does the constant barrage of emails, deadlines, and traffic jams leave you yearning for peace and rejuvenation? Believe it or not, the antidote to your stress might be hanging on a museum wall, waiting to be discovered. Read Here

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