As an expat, how did you know when it was time to go "home"?

  1. So I've been an expatriate for approximately five years, and have lived in more than one foreign country during that time. When I originally moved overseas I don't think I ever had a timeline in my mind. I just sort of expected triggers such as getting married, wanting to settle down permanently or wanting children to make the decision for me on when the right time was to move "home". However, none of these things have cropped up to make my mind up for me!

    I know for sure that I do want to move back to my home country eventually, and some days I'm desperate to do it this very minute, whilst other times the thought makes me shiver involuntarily.

    Anyway, I would love to hear other stories from expatriates. At what point did you decide that moving back to your home country was your right move? Did you do it with the view that it was a permanent move, or were you open to making it a temporary move to satiate the homesickness for a while. Or have you decided to stay away from your home country permanently...perhaps love or a job is keeping you there? I would just be really interested to hear the experiences from anyone else who may have struggled with that decision, when is the right time to go?

  2. Hi Alwaysinvogue,

    I've been an expat for just over five years now and we've made the decision to go home (moving next month). We're very lucky that when we decided to go home, hubby's company supported us and found him a good job. We've lived in Europe (twice) and in Singapore.
    Living overseas (lol, on the company's dime) has been fantastic. We've seen things we'd never had the chance to see.

    The last five years has really been a great time for us, but feel the need to be back near our families and friends. Our eldest son needs specialist schooling and we feel it is better (for him) in Australia. We will stay in Australia indefinitely once we're there. We also realised that our kids don't know their extended family (and vice versa).

    It wasn't a difficult decision for us, but we really will miss it here.

    Are you thinking about going home?
  3. Cal, your experience sounds great! There's nothing better than seeing the world on someone else's dime :tup: And it sounds like the decision for you to head home was really clear cut.

    I am thinking of heading home, but I keep waiting for something like the big bang to happen so that I know it's definitely the right time. That doesn't seem to have come, and I can't envisage that changing anytime soon. And I just really miss the lifestyle of sunshine, the beach, wanting to eat salads everyday because that's what you do when you live in a sunnier climate, and just the more relaxed lifestyle in general...if you know what I mean :p But at the same time, I can't help wondering if I'd love it for three months and then be incessantly bored. I'm not at a stage where I want to have children and settle down, so there's not that need driving me home. I miss my family dreadfully, but again, I wouldn't be moving back to the same city so I still wouldn't be living in the same place (although an hour long flight is much more manageable than a 24 hour flight!).

    Oh dear, can you hear my indecisiveness!
  4. I'm on the flip side of things- considering doing an expat with my company. Its good to hear its been a good experience for you guys!
  5. I lived all over Switzerland, Italy and finally England for 12 years. I would come home to visit and often could not wait to leave. lol..families..anyway, once I got in my 30's I felt the need to be in the States again. I struggled with the decision off and on for a year and then finally decided that it was on my mind way too much not to just come home. I made a deal with myself that if I was not happy after a year I would return to the UK. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. My relationship with my family has become something so wonderful I sometimes can not even believe it. I also met my husband was a huge step for me to come home as I had so many wonderful years traveling. I also had a bit of a struggle initially as it is very different in the States..I still miss some things, but the inner peace I have now (that I believe comes from my family) is amazing! I can not wait to take my husband to visit my friends abroad and show him some of things that I lvoed so much! Let us know what you decide! Its a big decision!
  6. I find this topic VERY interesting. We are actually in the process of moving to Shanghai for a 3-5 year assignment, leaving our home on Nov. 2nd! For me this is a HUGE HUGE step. I've never lived outside of 10 mile radius from where I grew up. I went to college close to home and when I was younger I never went to a summer camp---I'm a homebody----I would get homesick very easily. So this move makes me so anxious and excited. I'm also a bit nervous for our son and how he will adjust. He is 4 1/2 and already asking who will come to his birthday party in March---but everyone has assured us that he will adjust just fine once he gets into his school and has a schedule. My husband is going to be working crazy crazy hours and with the problems of us not speaking Mandarin or Shanghainese----it's going to be quite a challenge. But we are ready! BRING IT ON!!! ;)