3 Things I wish I had Known About Repatriation

  1. Repatriation will take longer than anticipated. Nor will it be as terrible or wonderful as your expectations. You will view your passport country from an entirely new perspective. Though you are not so fond of it, you may not curse it the same way you did after you fell in love with your host country, but you will come to a point of understanding, possibly even acceptance in regards to where you come from. People will not ooh and ahh over your crazy, beautiful, and strange tales of your life overseas. Relating to your peers will be difficult. Try to remember it is a challenge for them to relate to you as well. Take a genuine interest in their life. I am always intrigued hearing stories from people who have lived consistent, steady lives in one place! I just can not imagine what that is like, so it is really fascinating to hear them take joy in the small things, be thrilled with simplicity and find contentment in the here and now. As opposed to constantly seeking a new beginning, they are able to live a story from start to finish.
  2. Repatriation is multifaceted. There are so many mini-transitions within the overall process of repatriation. Repatriation is all about change. In the five months I have repatriated to America, I have held two different jobs and moved states twice. In addition, let’s also consider the external transitions of my loved ones. Two close friends got married, brother moved half way across the country, grandpa’s health declined, and parents have been living in a different state nearly every month. Even the family cat has been transitioning as well. The most painstaking part of it is we are not all in this together. I would like to think that it would be different, maybe even better or easier if my family had our own house and all lived together for a few months. Instead, we are spread out across the country dealing individually with transition. I suppose it may feel that way even if we were all together. After all, we literally are individuals, although we are family, each of us has our own experiences and new paths to venture on. 
  3. Repatriation is the best and worst of times. I have made some pretty precious memories being reunited with my grandparents. Now I live with some of my closest family friends who understand the torment of calling another country home. I have grown closer to family and friends through this time. On the contrary, it is undoubtedly an uncomfortable and at times awkward to be so dependent on other people – especially as an adult. And when I say grow closer, I also mean you really get to know the people who welcome you into their homes, almost a little too much. You never truly know a person until you live under the same roof. They call it better or for worse. However, if you leave on good terms it will be a time you look back on and treasure. Well, perhaps you will prefer not to remember the cringe worthy moments when you destroyed their bathroom sink, scratched the stove, or the cat vomited all over the new carpets. But you will have fond memories of meaningful conversation, and be overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people who sacrificially embrace you in their home.



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