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How to Be Happy in Re-Entry


I just returned from a month workationing in Europe, and as I unpack, do laundry, and get back on my cat’s good side, I’ve been processing my experiences and thinking about what comes next.

In my immediate future is more nomading – this time with my husband – and a mostly offline vacation in a cabin the mountains. I’m definitely looking forward to the next several weeks, but I’m already thinking about the fall when I’m back home in North Carolina.

I feel a re-entry relaunch coming on, so I’m re-reading my Re-Entry Reality workbook.

(All of this re-entry stuff is as much for me as is it for you!)

In my Re-Entry Reality workbook I talk about  the four areas you need to reflect on in order to to relaunch yourself into your next great adventure after being abroad:





Getting clear about what brings you joy, how you want to impact the world, what you know and can do, and which relationships are important to you helps you meet the new you – the you who has been fundamentally changed by your experiences abroad. Doing this helps you figure out what you want to do next.

Many times we simply grab the first opportunity that presents itself, rather than choose the path that will actually bring the most fulfillment and happiness. That’s because we often make choices out of fear.

I’m not that interested in teaching, and I’d rather go to Chile than Japan, but what if this turns out to be my only opportunity to go abroad again? I can’t stand the thought of staying home next year.

What if I accept the unpaid internship in London and I come home broke and not having improved my skills? Maybe I should just accept that paid internship at home. It makes more sense.

If my partner and I buy this house, will we ever go abroad again?

Sound familiar?

I’ve made plenty of decisions based on fear. The problem with fear-based decisions is that by worrying about something that could go wrong, you can so easily miss out on wonderful opportunities that you never could have dreamed up. Opportunities that could make you really happy.

There’s also the fear that once we make a decision there’s no turning back. Which is so not true. So what if you make a choice and then later decide to pivot and go in another direction? Most of the time it’s not as tragic as we think it will be.

I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure this out.

If you want to be happy in re-entry, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What fuels me and makes me feel alive? (Joy)
  2. What can I do to leave a lasting impact on the world? (Legacy)
  3. What do I know, and what can I do, now that I’ve been abroad? (Mastery)
  4. Which relationships are important to me? (Connection)

Considering each question will help you figure out what’s important to you right now, which will help you determine the next step that will truly bring fulfillment and happiness. If you’d like help with this, check out my Re-Entry Reality workbook.

Remember, all you need to do right now is figure out your next step. You can always adjust your plans as you go.

I’ve been asking myself these four questions the past few weeks, and I’ve especially been thinking about what brings me joy and which relationships are important to me. In my current re-entry, these questions are helping me figure out what I want my life to be like when I’m at home, and how I want to integrate “abroad” into my at-home life in the coming months.

I don’t have it all figured out but I’m getting there. And I’m already much happier than in previous re-entries!

Happy Relaunching!