(This is a guest post — so before you think we’re leaving Berlin, hold your horses. We’re not going anywhere. 😉 )

Moving overseas from the United States is a true adventure… but what about moving back home?  Often, individuals that have lived abroad think that the adventure is long over once they return stateside, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Arriving back in the United States after months or years away can be a difficult challenge.  In fact, it can provide a culture shock all its own.  Some people take years to recover from living overseas, while others bounce right back into the swing of things.  Here are some steps to take that might help make settling back home a little easier.


photo credit: The Eggplant via photopin cc

photo credit: The Eggplant via photopin cc

Say a proper goodbye but look forward to the future

Despite so many USA houses for sale, finding a good deal on real estate is no reason to quickly pack up and move back to a country one hasn’t lived in for a significant amount of time.  You must be absolutely sure before making such a move, and once that decision is made, proper goodbyes are necessary.  Yes, this means saying goodbye to friends but also to the host country that has been “home” for so many years.  Closure is essential, so allow it.

Arriving back in the United States can be exhilarating – seeing old friends and family often has that honeymoon experience kick.  It is a time where old friendships can be rekindled and new connections made with the mother country.  It is also a time to become reacquainted with one’s home country as it is now.  Remember, everything changes and the United States is no exception.  Life has certainly changed for family and friends, so be sure to share any overseas adventures in small doses and ease back into living stateside.

Moving is stressful for anyone, whether moving across the street or across an ocean.  This is especially true for those who have decided to move back to the United States after living overseas – it is important to remember that readjusting will take some time.  Be open and honest and let friends and family know how things are different.  Living overseas is a life-changing experience that one cannot simply divorce.  However, be sure not to alienate friends and family with too many complaints about the transition!


The process is arduous but there is light at the end of the tunnel

An international move is never simple, but moving back to the United States from another country is fairly straightforward for citizens.  Though the process does take a while, it generally lasts only a couple of months. If one is moving alone, the process will be fairly simple, with the most complicated aspect being the transport of personal effects and household goods but that can be simplified by looking for international moving companies.  If one is moving with children, a spouse or pets, things can get a little more complicated in terms of paperwork and planning.

Before locking down a move back to the United States from overseas, it is a good idea to do a little research on any rules and regulations regarding re-entry into the country.  Customs regulations are constantly changing, so before sending a shipment of household goods, it is wise to double check that everything can be shipped and to look into what sort of fees may be involved.

Have you recently returned to your mother country? How did the transition go?

Or are you considering a move overseas? What do you think will be your biggest challenges?