What to expect… when you’re heading home?

1 month today we’ll leave NZ. After almost a year away, I absolutely can’t wait to see family & friends and I’m looking forward to home comforts and the end of living out of a bag! This milestone has also prompted thoughts about what it’ll be like to return home.

How much will have changed?

When you’ve been out of everything for a while, you feel like you’ve missed a lot and wonder how much will be different to what you remember. The big things like births, deaths, birthdays, weddings and engagements, but also just a year’s worth of the everyday.

However most people have said that, beyond the surface, very little really changes when you’ve been away. A friend of mine recently returned home after 5 years living abroad, and even then, most things felt the same as when she’d left. Hopefully it won’t take too long to catch up and get back into the swing of things.

The trip feeling like a distant memory

I’m really keen to keep our year away alive in our minds when we get home. After the saving, planning and living in NZ for a year, I don’t want it all to feel like a dream! Part of the reason I’ll be sad to leave Wellington is I don’t know whether I’ll ever be back. I’m sure that surrounding ourselves with photos and keeping in touch with our friends here will help. Equally, I’m going to be wary of not living in the past or allowing ‘this one time in NZ’ to become my new catchphrase!

Cathedral Cove

Feeling lost and having itchy feet

I left my job before we came away and I’m not sure what I’ll do when we get back. How can I possibly think about work when there’s a whole world to see?! 😉 After a year of temping, I’m keen to get my teeth into something new and hope the UK job market isn’t as tough as I remember.

We also left our flat, so will be thinking about where we’d like to live in the long-term. In some ways it’s liberating to have a fresh start, but will inevitably take a while to find our feet.

Before coming away, I knew that there’d be a tough adjustment at the other end, but there’s no way I’d change the last year and I’m so glad we did it. Hopefully this doesn’t read like a list of self-indulgent anxieties, but alongside the excitement, these are just some of the things that come to mind when people ask how I feel about going home!

If you’ve been away from home for an extended time, how did you find arriving home and settling back in?


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