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Returning expats seeking advice.

Including Financial Independence and Retiring Early (FIRE)
Dod101
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Re: Returning expats seeking advice.

#249447

Postby Dod101 » September 5th, 2019, 1:45 am

DE
As I said on the 8th August, he/she should be prepared for a culture shock. The home country has become a foreign country on a permanent return. I am well aware of that having been overseas for a continuous 23 years, even with regular returns to the UK but that is not the question of the OP.

Dod

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Re: Returning expats seeking advice.

#252770

Postby DiamondEcho » September 19th, 2019, 10:23 pm

Agreed; it's like your memory is preserved in aspic, and whilst away you hark back, miss it, and reminisce. But when you get back it's all changed. You might still recognise some locals/neighbours/old friends, but they'll have all changed so much they might as well be utter strangers, odds on many won't remember you at all. 'The place you left' no longer exists. It takes a lot of readjustment. After say 3 years it's a transientre-adjustment that expats are equipped to deal with, after say 10 it is a major shock and is an ongoing, perhaps endless, or even fruitless quest?

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Re: Returning expats seeking advice.

#252905

Postby TUK020 » September 20th, 2019, 2:35 pm

I spent a much shorter time as an expat some 25 years ago.
The culture shock on return was indeed more than going out.
The big difference was not so much that the place I returned to was different, but that I had changed and was looking at it with new perspective.

You come back with a changed viewpoint, and realise that many of the things that you took for granted as the "right way of doing things" you now see as odd, parochial and sometimes downright stupid.

Dod101
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Re: Returning expats seeking advice.

#252949

Postby Dod101 » September 20th, 2019, 7:13 pm

I think you are both correct. There is no doubt that an expat's outlook changes significantly whilst resident abroad but what still surprises me is the permanent gap in experience of much that has happened in this country whilst I was not here. Someone was recently talking about the four day week under Heath for instance and I know nothing of this and cannot begin to appreciuate what it was like. There are many other examples.

Dod

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Re: Returning expats seeking advice.

#253070

Postby TahiPanasDua » September 21st, 2019, 5:43 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:Agreed; it's like your memory is preserved in aspic, and whilst away you hark back, miss it, and reminisce. But when you get back it's all changed. You might still recognise some locals/neighbours/old friends, but they'll have all changed so much they might as well be utter strangers, odds on many won't remember you at all. 'The place you left' no longer exists. It takes a lot of readjustment. After say 3 years it's a transientre-adjustment that expats are equipped to deal with, after say 10 it is a major shock and is an ongoing, perhaps endless, or even fruitless quest?

Hi DE,

We are some kind of proof of the obvious fact that we are all different. I, unlike my wife, found it remarkably easy and quick to settle back into the UK. Within only a couple of weeks I had that feeling of never having left. My wife, as usual, was a bit slower. We spent 42 years overseas in 8 different countries. We were international vagrants hiding behind a veneer of professional respectability. Maybe having fundamentally changed environment so often and set up home in so many different places might somehow be a factor in our adaptability.

The other suggestion that we come back different people is true in our case. Our approach to work, general lifestyle and investment owes much to Hong Kong. I do try to keep such thoughts to myself........occasionally.

TP2.


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