Adventure Abroad: 5 Early Return Triggers
So you've packed your bags, said your goodbyes, and taken off on your new adventure abroad, which will surely be the experience of a lifetime. And for a while, it is! But then, somewhere along the way, things take a turn for the worse, and you find yourself longing for the comforts of home. This is always going to be a possibility when you take on the challenge of moving and living in a new country. This is why we initially told our family and friends that we were giving ourselves six months to see if we really liked living in Belize. If things weren’t going well, or if our new lives weren’t living up to the expectations we had set, then we agreed that after the six-month mark, we’d head back home. Well, October 5, 2023, marks the six-month point from when we set off on this adventure, and it’s safe to say that we have no plans to return home in the NEAR future. Has everything gone exactly how we envisioned it to? Absolutely not! Have we had setbacks? Yes! But, at the end of the day, we really do love our new lives here, and there’s plenty more we need to experience and accomplish. In a sense, it feels like we’ve only just scratched the surface.
All that being said, here are five reasons why you may end up coming home from your adventure abroad sooner than you planned.
1. You Run Out of Money
This is probably the number one reason why people find themselves heading home sooner than they intended. Let's face it: travel can be expensive! And even if you've been frugal with your spending up to this point, there may come a time when you simply can’t afford to live in your chosen destination any longer. Whether it's because you overspent on fancy dinners or got hit with an unexpected medical bill, running out of money is a guaranteed way to end your grand adventure prematurely.
2. You Get Homesick
No matter how great your new life abroad is going, there may come a time when you start craving the comforts of home. Homesickness can lead to negative emotions like loneliness, anxiety, and depression. If these feelings persist, it may be time to book a ticket back home. It goes without saying, but you should always care for your mental health!
3. You Have a Family Emergency or Obligation
Unfortunately, sometimes life happens, and we must deal with things beyond our control. Whether it's a family emergency or an obligation that can't be avoided, sometimes we must put our desires on hold and head home sooner than we'd like.
4. Culture Shock - Not What You Expected
This reason is especially relevant if you're moving to a country with a culture that's drastically different from the one you’re used to. It's common to experience culture shock when confronted with unfamiliar customs and beliefs. While this feeling is often temporary, sometimes it persists and can lead to unhappiness with your new surroundings. If culture shock prevents you from enjoying your experience abroad, it may be time to reevaluate whether or not living in that particular country is right for you. As seasoned travelers, we knew we would experience culture shock coming to Belize. It’s incredibly important to have an open mind and embrace cultural differences when you step foot into another country.
5. Your Vision for the Experience Didn't Match Reality
Similar to what we said in last week's newsletter, we often build up expectations in our heads before we even leave home, which can often lead to disappointment when reality doesn't match our expectations. If you constantly compare your current situation to another version that exists only in your head, it may be time to cut your losses and head home. After all, there's no sense in sticking around somewhere that doesn't make you happy!
Living abroad truly has been one of the most, if not THE most, rewarding experiences of our lives to date. That being said, we totally understand that it’s not for everyone—and that’s OK! If you’ve thought about a move abroad before, considering the things that might bring you home sooner than you expected might give you that much more of a chance to succeed. Remember, the world is too big to stay in one place.