Perhaps this is a topic fairly close to home (pardon the pun) as I have just returned from two years abroad living and working in Hong Kong. But this entry isn't so much about the many challenges associated with establishing yourself in another country, but more about what you could experience when you return home.
In the November issue of the Australian Financial Review BOSS magazine, I read a poignant article about the return of the native addressing the many challenges that await expatriates when they touch down once again on home soil.
"It's almost as though you were never away because that part of your life has no relevance here ... It's a bit hard to know what you do with that part of your life."
Many expats find the move home an awkward adjustment, both professionally and personally. You just don't expect that coming home will require as much assimilation as going abroad. After all the personal stresses such as finding a place to live, potentially finding a new job, and re-establishing contact with friends can be just as serious.
The article concludes how important it is for expats to develop a new social circle when they get home because old friends that haven't experienced living abroad may not even be interested in your international adventures.
If you've lived and worked overseas, and have any advice for those currently working abroad who may be preparing to head home, feel free to share it...