An Expat At Home

Coming back to your native land after an absence of many years is a surprisingly unsettling business, a little like waking up from a long coma.

~Bill Bryson

Six months ago I left Singapore.

I actually cannot believe it’s been that long already, time really does fly. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy. I miss it. Terribly. But most of all I miss who I was there which I think has been part of the struggle. Settling back into the UK has been tougher than I thought.


Photo Cred: Toa Heftiba


After doing heaps of research I realise I am not alone. There really are people out there who have suffered a culture shock on returning to their native country. Some return and realise it isn’t as they remembered. That isn’t the same for me as I don’t feel anything has changed at all, but I have. What I have grasped is that I am probably going through the same experience as I did when I first moved abroad, making a brand new home in new surroundings. It was kinda lonely at first. That homesickness I initially felt however did slowly diminish and although I may still be firmly attached to Singapore like an umbilical cord, the yearning is lessening. I do believe that if I was still there or made a decision to return to Singapore, it wouldn’t be the same and it may destroy the awesome memories I am now lucky to have. I can’t risk that happening.

I had a shoulder-drop moment this week, a colleague said, “You are an expat at home.” A smile crept over my fact as the expectation of fitting back in now wasn’t so great. I may or may not fit in again and that’s ok, it’s just another experience. Living in London is new for me so why not continue my expat life here? No reason why I can’t and just well, be me doing the things I love.


1. You will have changed, so continue being you. 

Living in different countries with different cultures means you collect heaps of new experiences. You adapt and learn so many new things that of course you grow with this. These experiences shape you and your outlook may change but it’s important to continue to be the person you have become. Be proud.


Photo Cred: Andrew Neel

2. Remember that just as you have changed, so have your loved ones who have remained.

Those single gals are no longer single. People get married, gorgeous babies appear and well, we are all grown up now. Alongside this come different perspectives and experiences. Of course life goes on whilst you are away and slotting in to the same life won’t be an option. Just accept that life moves on for all of us, adjust and appreciate.


Photo Cred: Brooke Cagle

3. Give yourself a break.

Remember that moving abroad takes guts, you have had experiences which have made you stronger but which have made you who you are today. Be proud of who you are, you are stronger than you think and give yourself time.


Photo Cred: Seemi Samuel

4. Be an expat at home.

Be a tourist, create new experiences and feel as awesome as you did in your previous home. You are still you, doing things which define you and which you enjoy doing. For me it’s things like finding new restaurants and cool events to attend, things I haven’t done before. I need to be able to feel I still have endless possibilities and the freedom to explore them. It could be going for long walks or a drive and just seeing where it takes you, making a Bucket List of your new city or checking city guides such as Time OutThe Nudge and Design My Night to see what’s on.


Photo Cred: Firza Pratama

I created my Singapore bucket list some time ago, now it’s time to create a new one for London!

N x

So hey you, yes you..I want to thank you for reading my post. Whether you’ve stuck around since the beginning of my journey or whether you’re new to my blog, thank you for reading and supporting. I genuinely appreciate it.


  1. Anonymous
    March 12, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    You have been so lucky Nicci, what a life experience and journey you have had, good luck for the future xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Something?