survey: repatriating experience
Apparently this week of NaBloPoMo will be the “repatriating week” for me. You might have noticed that this topic has been on my mind for a while now. In the summer I created a survey for some people I know that have moved back to Germany or Switzerland to learn more about their experiences, feelings or difficulties and to hear what advice they can give other people who are thinking about moving back to their home country.
The survey contains 10 questions, the surveyed could give multiple answers and were encouraged to leave comments. I got 9 responses in total and here are the questions and results.
1. Why did you repatriate/move back to your home country?
My husband got a great job offer in Berlin so he decided to take it!
Not only that, I had to leave the Silicon Valley bubble. Money, money, money. There is more than money in life.
At some point I realized that I will never become an American and missed my home culture and people very much.
2. How long in advance did you plan to move back?
3. How much time did you have for the transition?
Meaning: Did you get on the plane and the new life started right the next day or did you organize some time in between to process and adjust?
4. What was the best part of coming home?
The air, humidity, seasons, trees, social inclusion.
Even though I live that aspect, everything else is not ideal for me.
It’s hard for me to choose one.
I can’t really answer this questions. Probably the opportunity for our children to roam free and just disappear for a couple hours.
You probably never live the old life just because you start at a different point in time. I felt more like myself and in control compared to my life in the US when getting home.
5. What did you find most difficult coming back to your home country?
6. Did you experience a reverse culture shock?
7. Would you do it again?
8. If you could do your move back home again, what would you do differently?
I would leave more furniture and stuff behind. We took way too much with us.
Scout out the situation at home a bit better beforehand. Move a few more items rather than giving them away.
Nothing, we planned well!
Nothing really, I think it’s is generally easier to move back to an area where you have lived before, but that was not an option for us.
Some practical stuff – different insurance for shipping, different car type to bring back (lots of difficulties with adjustments to cars bought in the US), different handling with kids going back to school…
Go back earlier. Almost 6 years away was too long for our kids.
Move closer to friends and family.
9. In hindsight, what did you do absolutely right in the process of moving back?
We hosted a big potluck Picknick in our empty house and invited all of our friends the day after the movers left. We shipped our belongings to Germany and stayed in a vacation home in the US for 2 more weeks just to rest, say our goodbyes and visit our favorite places one more time. That was nice not to have to leave all stressed and tired.
Getting rid of all furniture except the beds, shipping our things. Doing it.
We had two plans! A. -all goes well, we all move to Germany B. If job doesn’t go well we come back and have our infrastructure still in place!
I appreciate that our children are now fluent in German as well as in English and that they get to know our home country and other countries in Europe.
That we did the move through my husbands employer Ebay. We had a relocation company and didn’t have to pay for the costs.
Moving to the Munich area❤️
Moving back before kids were in middle school age.
10. Please add any experience, feeling or advice you’d like to share about your move back.
It’s nice to be back, but we miss our friends and colleagues the most. Some nature, shops or routines as well. Traffic, earthquake risk and cost of living not so much.
For me personally the life in Germany is more stressful. I think it was more relaxed in California. But on the other hand are cost of living and social security are a big factor if you have the option of moving back.
Don’t think too long, make the decision and follow through.
Make the right decision for your Family 😉
This post is a part of a series called NaBloPoMo 2016 hosted by BlogHer. NaBloPoMo is short for National Blog Posting Month and it challenges writers and creatives to post on their blogs once a day (at least) for the month of November. You can find all my posts on my blogher page, too. Stay tuned!