I’m going home…and I’m scared


  1. This was a beautifully written post, Alana. I can relate in the sense that I’m not sure who I’m supposed to be when I get home, and I don’t know how I’m going to get used to just being in the same place all the time with so much less adventure and stimulation.

  2. Therese Soleil says:

    Alana, I agree with Ashley, that was so eloquent. My vote is to not let any moss grow under your feet. If you must get a job in the U.S., make sure it involves travel. Any employer will see from your blog your sense of wonder, appreciation for cultural differences, your versatility, and your fearlessness. Thank you so much for the help you gave me while I was there. You were a lifesaver.

  3. Jessica Wray says:

    Great post Alana. I can totally relate as I feel pretty lost sometimes too! I’m sure you’ll have a great time at home and I’ll be checking back to see what you’ve decided 🙂

  4. Jim says:

    When I came home after 2.5 year away, it was a bit of a rough transition. I felt like everyone at home hadn’t changed, but I had changed so much that it was hard to readjust. Good luck.

  5. Heather says:

    Very well said. This is something a lot of people can relate to. I hope you’re able to find the answers to your questions!

  6. Keara says:

    I know the transition moving home after living abroad is tough- I’ve written several posts on it and am currently writing another! I feel the same- lost, unsure if I should go back..I think time will give us perspective and I hope with some future travel plans ( which involve neither home or where I was living abroad ) will help me decide perhaps! I guess were lucky we have two wonderful places to choose between as well!

  7. Jessica says:

    I can definitely relate to this feeling. Although, I think sometimes going home after a long time can bring the perspective that you need in order to decide what to do next. We went back to Canada for a few weeks last Christmas after about 18 months on the road (a good part of that was spent in Thailand). It was wonderful to see our family and friends, but it also helped us to realize that we weren’t ready to move back home permanently yet.

  8. Reverse culture shock, I believe it’s called. I’m nervous too, if I ever decide to return to North America (or ANY western country for that matter) long term!

    Hoping all the best for you, and probably the most important thing to do will be to listen to the universe. If it is giving you options or telling you to ride the tailwind again, then maybe that’s what your’e supposed to do 🙂 Hoping all the best for you in your next chapter!

  9. I know how you feel. Every time I go home I have some kind of culture shock. GOod luck!

  10. OCDemon says:

    Just watched a video on reverse culture shock. It’s tough. I think once you start traveling, it’s a one-way road to eternal wanderlust. It gets harder and harder to go back home, since every time you feel a little further away. you know your friends less well, you enjoy your old favorite places less, and it’s just okay at best. The first week back can be nice, but then it’s just…nothing. It’s possible to readjust, but it takes a long time, and in the meantime, the world beckons.

  11. jon says:

    Going home is always harder than leaving home. Be careful – some people fall into a depression. Have a plan B – in my case it was to spend some time in a new city in my country.

  12. Ash Clark says:

    I give you two weeks before you’re itching to be back on the road again! Good luck Alana!

  13. rtwgirl says:

    Don’t worry Alana….I think there are a ton of us who leave to travel or live abroad thinking we’ll have some sort of clear picture or answers in our head of what’s next and then we realize that we don’t have any answers but more questions. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s life. We’re all richer for doing what we did. All I want to do is become an expat now. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d want to live overseas. I thought i would go back to the same life. I had a nice life before…..but now I want a simpler life.

  14. Adam finan says:

    Hey Alana,
    I know what you mean and it can be so strange heading home when you have been away for a while. I made a trip back after 3 years last Aug and it was surreal! Highly enjoyed it, but will not be back again for a few years again 🙂

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Thanks for reading, Adam – I’m looking forward to going home, but definitely think it will be more of an adjustment than when I visited last time now that I’ve been away even longer!

  15. Damian Cantu says:

    Great post, i wish you the best of luck in your trip back to home.

  16. Marissa says:

    Reverse culture shock is no joke. It took my boyfriend and I months to readjust to living in California after two years in Korea and traveling through SE Asia. Asian customs were our new norm, and we missed it something fierce. But, it was time to come home.

    And when I came home in 2011, I had no idea what I was going to do next. I was scared that I’d never see my friends in Seoul again, never again taste my favorite greasy chicken from the local mini-mart, or ride the subway whose singsong announcements had become something of an inside joke between us.

    But I did. I’ve been back twice, in fact. Once you get home and fill your needs for friends, family and all the comforts that only home can provide (like Mexican food and good cheese), you’re finally able to clearly see what comes next. And trust me, things have a funny way of working out exactly how they’re supposed to in the end.

    What part of Seattle are you from? Born and raised in Tacoma here, and headed up that way in July. Can’t wait!

  17. I think the one thing I’ve learned from being on the road for almost 10 months now is that you just have to take each day as it comes and that in trying to gaze into a crystal ball and see the future you only bring anxiety and frustration on yourself. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to not only figure out what you want but how to get it… it seems that in life doors are always opening to us that we didn’t even see when we were all the way down at the other end of the corridor, so be brave, take one step at a time, and remember that even in going back, you can still be moving forward!

  18. Let me know if you’re still in Seattle! I’d love to meet up 🙂 I had similar feelings when I came back last year without a plan to travel again. Here’s a blog post I wrote about transitioning back into “real life”. Hope it offers you some solace!! http://www.thisamericangirl.com/2013/02/15/how-to-transition-into-your-real-life-after-travel/

  19. paula says:

    Hello 🙂
    I am going home on Thursday for 10 days.. and it also slightly terrifies me.. I have been travelling and living in NZ for 2 years now.. and I am going back because my father has had a heart attack… I’m already thinking being with my family for 5 nights is going to drive me bonkers… but I also know I am going back for the right reasons.. I am a little nervous that the seeds of doubt may form in my head… and I will start thinking should i be going home etc… Oh the joys of living in the world that we want to create.. but it doesnt stop the doubts,niggles and guilt..

    Be happy


  20. patrick says:

    This is so common and something I’m still experiencing! I lived in Spain for two years. I’ve been back home in Baltimore for about 7 months working a corporate 8-5 job that I loathe, and I’m ready to quit and move back to Spain again. It could happen any day, but I feel so much resistance from my family and pressure to do things the conventional way. Decisions, decisions!

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Living abroad is one of the greatest and toughest decisions there is…even if you’re sure you really want to, it’s never that straightforward. Good luck!

  21. Eva says:

    I am going home soon too. Had bought a one way ticket from Singapore to Europe 13 years ago. I’m having mixed feelings for this upcoming relocation. Singapore feels so familiar yet different after a decade away.

  22. Dave says:

    Just came across your blog via Pinterest of all places. TImely, as I too am heading back home (to London, though I’m not English, and England itself was the first big move I made half way through my life) after two years in Cambodia.

    Its a tough move, one I’ve done before when I had to leave Thailand well in advance of when I wanted to. But that was 15 years ago, and after repeated small trips back to SEA I ended up moving back here to work a decade and a half later. I feel lucky to have had the chance and if things work out I’ll be back here again soon.

    I concur fully with your other blog articles about the experience of living here. From prior experience, you do slot back in to “home” life soon enough. But as a SEA-phile the experience and yearning for the life here never leaves you completely.

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