In my roundup of 2016 I mentioned the repatriation malaise or reverse culture shock I felt about 5-6 months after returning home. Here’s something I wrote at the time.
I do feel at home here. I know people say things like ‘you can never go back’ and that expats ‘never feel at home anywhere again’, but I’m feeling pretty welcomed back by London and my old life.
It’s weird to be back so completely – back in our flat, in our neighbourhood, friendship and family networks, and most of all, back at the university where I did my PhD and taught for four years. I’m even teaching a very similar course – the other day the course convenor referred to ‘last year’ as if I’d been here. I could very easily forget I’d been away at all.
I’m back working practically full time, thanks to two jobs, which is busy but makes me feel just like my old self. Which leads me to wonder, what on earth was I doing with myself for 18 and a bit months in the States. And who on earth was I?