A sudden pang hit me in the very pit of my stomach just now as a few boxes were delivered to our apartment in the anticipation that we may wish to pack a few belongings ourselves. Reality is sinking in.. we are leaving. And soon. Well, we are leaving in early January after a little holiday but our uplift (i.e., when all of our belongings are removed) is in 3 weeks!
The first pang arose during the property survey conducted by Allied Pickford a few weeks back. The rep walked in created an inventory and provided dates for the uplift.
The second pang hit when we gave our domestic staff notice, provided references and advertised their services widely within the expat and Embassy communities. That was difficult because we know that if they do not secure employment there is no Government assistance in this country and that has implications as both are the breadwinners for their families.
The third happened just now and was accompanied by mixed emotions – sadness, excitement, anxiety, happiness all delivered with these boxes!
The next pang will surely emerge during uplift.. and again when we head off on our holiday.. and for the last time when we return to Indonesia, our current home, before we board our final flight to return to… Now what do I call it when it’s not “home”?
Generally speaking, no one likes change. Change is challenging. It’s a process of upheaval of all that is known and familiar and hurls us into the unknown with lashings of anxiety and trepidation. Some worries that I have include no longer connecting with old friends; experiencing difficulty settling back into my old life easily, or not at all; concerns about work and changes to relationship dynamics with my spouse.
The repatriation process is thought to be more stressful and difficult to navigate than the initial move interestingly. Many people believe that returning to your country of origin from your new home will be a smooth transition as you are returning to your old life. But I have changed and evolved as a result of this experience and these new found beliefs are returning with me. My world view is now different – not better just different. The stages of adjustment are claimed to bite harder with repatriation and repats require a lot of support, patience and understanding from loved ones and work colleagues for up to a year after their return.
So, as the title suggests, reality is setting in and fast!