Repatriation and the reality of going home

[The long summer holiday is a time when many expatriates are on the move, in line with the school year. This post originally appeared over at Your Expat Child but I’m re-posting it here ahead of the moving season.] Having successfully moved a family abroad, the idea of the return journey can seem like a relatively … Continue reading

Mini-returns and unfamiliar ‘homes’

Photograph of Gardens by the Bay

Towards the end of last year I went on a wonderful three-week holiday to Australia. It is one of my favourite places, if it is fair to think of it as one place – in three weeks I saw just a tiny fraction of it on this visit. My parents lived in Melbourne for a … Continue reading

Repatriates and the value of intercultural skills

Keyboard return key

Earlier this month the British Council launched a report about the value of intercultural skills in the workplace. It concludes that, ‘Employers understand the value of intercultural skills to their businesses. In fact, they value these skills above many technical abilities and formal qualifications.’ So, intercultural skills would be good things to have on your … Continue reading

Home climates: snowdrops and falling leaves

Tree in autumn

I’ve been reminded by a mild spell and the sight of the sunshine that the weather makes a huge difference to how I live and how I feel about it. I do like to see the change in seasons, although I prefer all other changes to when it gets darker and danker. I lived once … Continue reading

Tips for successful repatriations

[This post originally appeared over at Move Guides.] In my earlier Blogger’s Q&A for Move Guides, I was asked about the three tips I would give to any repatriates before journeying back to their homeland. I said, ‘Be positive, plan (from before you move abroad if you can) and do not expect it to be … Continue reading

Shopping malls

China Town plaza

Looking at my globe often makes me think not just of other distant places, or of a well-chosen gift, but of the shopping centre it came from. This was a welcome sanctuary on returning to the UK: a brand new air-conditioned mall with chain stores, a food court and a familiar, inside-outside light filtering onto … Continue reading

Repatriation cheat sheet

Photograph of beach hut

I’ve finally put together a short ‘cheat sheet’ for people preparing to repatriate to their home country. Repatriations and return migrations are very common but they are not talked about as much as moves abroad, which is why I chose to do my PhD research on the subject. My research was with British households returning … Continue reading

The smell of home

Chinese soup spoon

Reading about the salmon in my last post I learnt that apparently salmon are guided in their return migration by the smell of the stream where they were born, and that is how they know how to get home in order to spawn. The sign in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (written by the city’s aquarium) asks, … Continue reading

Canadian return migration: salmon, geese and butterflies

When I was in Canada recently I learnt to appreciate the scale of animal, insect and bird migrations a little more, particularly the huge journeys made by hosts of salmon, geese and Monarch butterflies. It was not that I didn’t know about these before but there is always something about witnessing events or their settings … Continue reading

There and back again: a hobbit returns home

Source=http://flickr.com/photos/96147639@N00/338143312/ |Author= Rob Chandler

I have just finished re-reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit, inspired to return to a childhood book by the forthcoming film. This reminded me that Bilbo’s journey and subsequent memoir are a perfect depiction of what it means to return home after living abroad or, as in The Hobbit, after an extended trip away. Since this is … Continue reading