Finance & Retirement LIFESTYLE  >  Expat Retirement Series Part 4: What if I Hate My New Overseas Home?

Expat Retirement Series Part 4: What if I Hate My New Overseas Home?

Expat Series Part 5: What if I Hate My New Overseas Home?, Retiring Overseas, LIving Abroad in Middle Age
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BY SUSIE HAMMOND

Imagine that you are all settled at your new address.  You know where to shop, have a doctor you like, friends to socialize with, some activities of value to make life better in your community, and some lovely scenery to show off when people visit.  But … you aren’t really happy.

As a matter of fact, you are beginning to really dislike your overseas home and wonder if you have made a big mistake in spite of all the things you do like about your little kingdom.

This occasionally happens and there are some tricks to try before you give up on your lifestyle. First of all “happy” is an interesting concept.  How about reviewing what your expectations were for life in your new home?  Start by rereading the earlier articles in the Expat Series, including Creating a Satisfying Life.  http://www.fiftyisthenewfifty.com/expat-series-part-3-creating-a-satisfying-life/

Then hopefully you have rented and not bought real estate.  It takes living overseas a year or more before you know you’re going to love your new circumstances long term. It is hard to resist if you are being offered the “once in a lifetime” fantastic deal by a local promoter, but don’t give in until you have lived there for a while first.

If you have a short-term lease and need to move or re-sign, try these possible fixes before you decide going home is best.

Tips for evaluating the decision to go ‘back home’:

–Sometimes just taking a little break can give you a brain reset. Go visit a town on the coast or take two days and go to a hostel in the mountains, whatever. Being a short-term tourist can let you step back and get a little perspective on life in general.

–Make a list of what you feel you are missing out on back home.

 –What is your biggest issue(s)?

–If this were remedied would you be happy living where you are?

One of the best ways to sort out your situation is often a good long visit home.  Try to do this with no mention that you are considering a permanent return.  People will have a variety of strong opinions on what you should do, but this is a decision best made by yourself on your own terms for your personal reasons.  Being swayed by pleas for your return or judgments on how they knew this was a bad idea, generally complicate the matter.  Re-acquainting yourself with what your old home is really like can forcefully remind you of all the reasons you left.

I am missing…..

–Christmas traditions, grandchildren’s birthdays or other milestones?  Try scheduling a trip back to enjoy this time of year. Perhaps you establish a new tradition. The Xmas/birthday/graduation time where everything is celebrated with everyone.

–Missing special foods or shopping items? The above solution of a trip back can also work to remedy that. Take empty suitcases and load up on items you miss.

Not making a trip back for a while?  Order items from retailers like Amazon and use a freight forwarding service.  For a reasonable sum goodies can be delivered tyour new homeland.

Invite friends/relatives to your new home and ask them to bring over some of the goodies you are missing. With the international 2 bags limit that makes the shipping cost free oe pretty low.

If the list of things that makes you unhappy contains broad items like the “bad driving habits in the whole country” then you probably have some other key issues to sort out.  Then it’s back to examining your real needs and wants. You may indeed need to move home to be happier. If that is the case do so and enjoy it.

Suzie Hammond is the author of; I am Not Sure Where I Want to Be–But it’s Not Here (A Comprehensive System for Finding a New Home You’ll Love )

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