Before I start this blog let me be clear: I am a happy expat. Previous blogs have allured to the possibility of a return back to the UK, but I was just being open in sharing some of the questions expats, like myself, inevitably have had. What is our end game – will we ever return back ‘home’ and will there ever come a time in the short term where one would need to go back?
The longer I spend living abroad, the less likely it is that I will ever go back to live again. The reality is there is very little back in the UK for me to go back for, I have my two brothers but see them when they come over on whenever I go back to the UK for a vacation. I have friends but we have all moved on from when I last lived in the UK over a decade ago. We are certainly still friends, but our mindsets have shifted in opposite directions.
Can you fit back in with a society that you left?
One of the biggest reasons for why I don’t think I will end up back in the UK is that I no longer fit in and no longer think aligned to the UK culture, friends and family. During August I saw on my Facebook feed all my friends back in the UK having their summer holidays – as it was half term for their children. So, every family gets away as the kids are off school. And they all jump on plane to British areas abroad in Europe and surround themselves with fellow Brit holiday makers. If ever I wanted reminding of the structure and routine to UK living that was it.
image: Will you really fit in?
Let’s face it, no one really cares about what you have been up to living abroad, at best you will get a luke warm interest. Your experiences are of no interest to your peers back home.
After uprooting and moving abroad to then return back home means acclimatising to a different social ecosystem all over again. There is even terminology for this, it is called ‘Reverse Culture Shock’ when you return. Will you feel like you belong when you return, I am not convinced you will?
I am also quite sure you will be in shock with a whole raft of things from the weather change to increased taxes.
Never say never
I would certainly never discount returning back to the UK, preferably in a financially secure position, but looking into the UK from afar I really am not sure it is something I would want to rush back for.