Re-entry blues is expat reality.
Coming back to California after visiting Germany is always a challenge for me. No matter how long I was gone, it takes me at least a few weeks to re-adjust. The time in Germany is always characterized by many reunions and by enjoying long missed rituals and delights. I relish every moment with loved ones, every Brötchen I can get and love to wander through my native climes. That’s why I’m not really surprised about my re-entry blues. I always wonder if it’s just me or if other people might have the same troubles settling back in their expat lives. As I mention in my About section, I’ve been struggling with my expat life for quite some time. I sometimes envy all the people I have met that seem to be completely settled and satisfied with their existence here, far away from their origin. For me it’s a constant challenge, there is always this question in my head: Where do I belong?
Support for Expats
I have a friend in Switzerland who had lived here in the Silicon Valley as well. Last year she sent me a link of the website of Sundae Schneider-Bean, an American who’s lived in Switzerland and Burkina Faso. She is a coach and an intercultural specialist. I subscribed to her blog and she posted a very good article about the question “Where ist home?”. A few weeks ago I had a Skype session with her in which she gave me some very good ideas how to improve my life abroad and we will re-evaluate in a couple weeks. Sundae also sent me this link about the re-entry blues that I always experience. She wrote a two part article about this topic and concludes the second part with a video. If you’re an expat and facing the same problem you might want to check it out. I learned a lot about my intercultural identity, a term I had never heard of before. So now, I’m determined to work on a better life away from home.
What feels right about your life abroad?
AI According to Sundae to get over the re-entry blues you should make a list of 25 Things That Are Right about My Life Abroad. That’s why I started making my list but I only got up to 17 yet and the order is not based on relevance.
1 The sun shines a lot. 2 California is a beautiful place and there is so much more I want to see. 3 I have very good friends. 4 We live in a nice house and we have basically everything you need and more. 5 My kids are happy and bilingual. 6 I have chickens in my backyard and get fresh eggs every day. 7 You can run or ride your bike almost every day of the year. 8 You get a smile from a stranger every day. 9 I learn something new every day. 10 I started writing a blog. 11 The ocean is only 45 minutes away. 12 I love camping in California. 13 I can go snowboarding in the Sierras. 14 I teach kids reading and writing in German. 15 We live only 1 hour away from one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 16 I speak English fluently. 17 We have a pool.
Here you can read about 7 things I love about my life in the US.
I found a couple more websites for expat support and I will continue writing about the subject.