30 Tips for Moving Beyond Misery in Re-Entry

You know that part of coming home from abroad that kinda sucks? All month I’ve been posting tips for moving beyond the misery of re-entry on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so I thought I’d post all of them in once place in case you missed a few. You can also find them all on Pinterest. Or you can search #ReEntryReality on Twitter.

What’s up next month? October is Relaunch Month! Check back tomorrow for the details.

(Click here if you’re looking for last month’s travel tips and reflection questions.)


Tip 1: Don’t shy away from re-entry. It’s not always easy but it is an opportunity for significant growth.

Tip 2: Give yourself the time and space in re-entry to simply feel how you feel.

Tip 3: Don’t compare your re-entry experience to others’. Your experience is YOUR experience. Embrace it.

Tip 4: Figure out when, how & where you best engage in re-entry reflection. Journaling? Blogging? Talking? Reading? Jogging?

Tip 5: Re-entry isn’t a time frame, it’s a state of mind.

Tip 6: Re-entry is a deeply personal experience. It’s ok if it takes you time to articulate it to others.

Tip 7: Sometimes the hardest re-entry realization is that life went on without you went abroad! 😉

Tip 8: Re-entry may not really hit you until you’ve been home several days, weeks or even months.

Tip 9: Feeling alone in re-entry? You are NOT alone. Who can you reach out to right now?

Tip 10: Feeling down in re-entry? What can you do for someone else today?

Tip 11: Be kind to yourself during re-entry.

Tip 12: Sometimes re-entry feels like a slap in the face. Other times it’s more of a subtle unease that you can’t put your finger on.

Tip 13: Feeling out of sync with friends & family in re-entry? What can you do to create new memories with them?

Tip 14: Clearly communicate to friends and family what you need in re-entry. Don’t expect them to understand or read your mind.

Tip 15: Reverse culture shock in re-entry is often referred to in terms of illness. It’s not an illness, and it’s not something to be avoided!

Tip 16: Find people who understand what you’re going through in re-entry. Help each other find solutions.

Tip 17: Thinking about another international experience? Make sure to choose the option that’s best for you, not just the first one that gets you abroad again.

Tip 18: After being abroad, some relationships will stay the same, some will change, and some will fizzle out. That’s ok.

Tip 19: Your friends and family want to hear your greatest hits from being abroad…not ALL of your hits. Be selective.

Tip 20: Craft a couple stories that you can share with friends and family about your most meaningful experiences abroad.

Tip 21: It might not look like much has changed at home but your friends and family have experienced their own ups, downs & changes.

Tip 22: Use your “new eyes” to gain a different perspective on your family, community, country, etc. in re-entry. It won’t last long!

Tip 23: What local or global issue gets you fired up now? How can you be part of the solution?

Tip 24: What personal challenge do you now think is doable? What’s the first step to tackling it?

Tip 25: What’s most important to you now? Does your life reflect this?

Tip 26: Rest assured that there’s no wrong way to feel during re-entry.

Tip 27: Which relationship is most important to nurture right now?

Tip 28: Display selected photos or items from abroad at home. Let visitors ask about your time abroad if they’re interested.

Tip 29: Re-entry occurs every time you go “home” (albeit to varying degrees). How have yours been similar/different?

Tip 30: Share YOUR Re-Entry Reality story with the SPS community!