Repatriation Shock

Even though the decision to return back to Greece was 100% ours, the repatriation shock is still here to ring us the bell every time we realize that so much has happened since we left.

Heading back “home”
First walk as repatriates

 

 

After the initial “honeymoon period” of coming back home a lot of things start to come up. The friends that you thought were there to listen to your expat experiences are not as enthusiastic and eager to listen to your stories. Actually, to them you are just the person who left and they continued with their everyday lives, so most likely you will have to listen to their own stories,  because from their perspective everything stayed still. Hard to admit? Well the truth is ugly sometimes so, experiencing involuntary abandonment is not something uncommon for the expats who are coming home. Here is a big tip that helped me a lot to go through this phase; start hanging out with people who have also repatriated. In the beginning it might feel strange but after a few drinks you will realize that you share the same feelings and you have a lot of things to discuss while you are experiencing the “rediscovering your country” phase. Our family was lucky enough to meet another “repat” family from our girls’ school who have now become our traveling buddies and we are having the most amazing time while still unpacking our things.

Are you still waking up in the morning without knowing in which country you are living in?

The other day I woke up and I was impulsively searching for the stairs to go to the kitchen only to realize a few seconds later that I am in my new house where everything is on the same floor. This disorientation phase is part of the repatriation shock and it expands on different aspects of our lives. Don’t laugh but in Poland when you drive and enter a roundabout you don’t have priority, in Greece the rule is the  complete opposite.Just imagine how many times a day I have to listen to the car horns combined with the national epithet “m@…k@”.

 

5th move in 7 years

How about the kids? Our children were very happy with the idea that we would finally settle in one country, but to them it didn’t necessarily mean going back home. Home to them was the place they made friends, the people with whom they were spending their weekends and sharing their concerns; the school, the teachers and friends who inspired them and shaped their personalities. My kids had to abandon their home and create a new home. I have to admit that to them it was much more difficult and even though they have adjusted really well I still find myself shedding a tear when I see my girls spending hours on FaceTime with their besties because they cannot be physically together. This is the third phase of repatriation, which I call THE BIG GUILT. There are no tips to deal with guilt, just embrace the feeling of sadness and go easy on them and on you. It takes time to feel that you finally fit in.

Packing our things
Packing our things and saying “goodbyes”

 

The same goes with us.We need to admit that we are not the same people we used to be when we packed our suitcases for the first time.Don’t try to blend with the old “you”, it’s not there and it will never be.The new ‘you’ comes with sacrifices, you worked hard to let go of mentalities that were burdening you, to free yourself from prejudice and stereotypes that were only making you see things from a very narrow perspective.It is true that sometimes you will feel that you don’t belong anywhere but it’s ok.Take your time and reflect on the things that do matter, the new friends you are making, the new lifestyle you are creating based on your new needs, the old friends that are still there and adore the new “you”.But first you need to start embracing your new “you” because nobody will do it for you. And never stop listening to music that inspires you.

HERE WE GO AGAIN! I WONDER written by ABBA sung by Lilly James

 




 

 

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Join us for an exclusive wine tasting event with sommelier Penelope Kouloumpi at Bored, C’mon hub on April 19th at 7:30 pm. Taste four exceptional Greek wines expertly paired with delicious assortments while enjoying jazz music and networking with other peo people. Limited to 40 attendees, tickets are 50 euros per person. Secure your spot by making a payment to Piraeus Bank, Expat Experiences, IBAN GR24 0171 7490 0067 4916 6684 474 and confirming your payment to events@homeawayfromhome.gr. Don’t miss this chance for a sophisticated evening of fine wine and good company. Cheers!#winelover #winetasting🍷 #athensevents #winestagram #letshavefun #forwinelovers

Join us for an exclusive wine tasting event with sommelier Penelope Kouloumpi at Bored, C’mon hub on April 19th at 7:30 pm. Taste four exceptional Greek wines expertly paired with delicious assortments while enjoying jazz music and networking with other peo people. Limited to 40 attendees, tickets are 50 euros per person. Secure your spot by making a payment to Piraeus Bank, Expat Experiences, IBAN GR24 0171 7490 0067 4916 6684 474 and confirming your payment to events@homeawayfromhome.gr. Don’t miss this chance for a sophisticated evening of fine wine and good company. Cheers!#winelover #winetasting🍷 #athensevents #winestagram #letshavefun #forwinelovers

Amazing retreat by @eyiaretreats at @papagiannakos_winery! #greece #athensevents #athensretreats #yogaandwine#foreignersinathens #internationallife #internationalfriends #lifeabroad

Amazing retreat by @eyiaretreats at @papagiannakos_winery! #greece #athensevents #athensretreats #yogaandwine#foreignersinathens #internationallife #internationalfriends #lifeabroad

Being an expat and facing all the intercultural challenges that come along our way is not an easy task regardless what people think! Nevertheless when you have the chance to listen to stories of people with whom you can relate this task becomes much more interesting! We are very happy and proud to host @culture_x_change  podcast series that shed light to the life of expats!Check our article by clicking on the link in bio! #expatstories #intercultural #movingabroad #lifeofanexpat #expatsingreece #expatsinathens

Being an expat and facing all the intercultural challenges that come along our way is not an easy task regardless what people think! Nevertheless when you have the chance to listen to stories of people with whom you can relate this task becomes much more interesting! We are very happy and proud to host @culture_x_change podcast series that shed light to the life of expats!Check our article by clicking on the link in bio! #expatstories #intercultural #movingabroad #lifeofanexpat #expatsingreece #expatsinathens

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