Lots of people are moving around the world today. Some are moving to different countries, where they encounter new and foreign cultures and peoples. They adapt… or not.
I am one of those who moves. So far, I’ve lived in 7 different countries, including my original one, the US, and the one where I grew up, Spain. Some countries posed harder challenges than others.
But the hardest adaptation by far was returning to the place I considered home for the longest time.
When you move away, things happen to you. You learn, you change, you grow. You treasure your memories of your life at home because they soothe you in moments of hardship and pain. You treasure them because they somehow give you the feeling of having strong roots holding you somewhere. You treasure them because they are part of who you are.
And the day you go back, you expect to find what you left behind. You expect to continue where you left off.
The disappointment is tremendous. Things are not at all what you expected or remembered.
But think about it. You changed, didn’t you? Life taught you new things and you don’t see the world like you used to. Well, those left behind also kept on living and changing and growing. When you left, their lives went on. And now you’re coming back to something that no longer exists as you remembered it because it also evolved.
When moving to a new country, adaptation might be hard because we don’t know what to expect. Everything is new. We might have some preconceptions, true, and that might give us a few headaches because reality is not what we had imagined. But the headache is nothing compared to the pain of returning with the confidence that everything will be as it used to and then be shocked by reality. When moving away, we are open to new challenges. When returning, we want our old treasured world back.
When returning, approach your new life as if moving to a new country. Be open to new cultures and people as you would when settling in a new city or region, as if you were moving to an unknown place. It will save you a lot of heartache. Be ready to look ahead instead of looking back and your return will be much smoother.
Enjoy life… ALL of it,
Jessica J. Lockhart – humanology – www.jessicajlockhart.com
Jessica J. Lockhart is a humanologist, bestselling author and renowned international speaker. Follow her here: