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RECENTLY BECOME AN EXPAT?

RECENTLY BECOME AN EXPAT?

Some tips for that first trip “home” ….

In our last blog, we looked at managing requests for visits from family and friends after making the Big Move to a new home in the sun.

But, of course, if you’re living overseas, there will be times when you want to return home too – both to reconnect with loved ones and perhaps to take the opportunity to stock up on the “unobtainables”.

But, beware, particularly if it’s your first trip back “home” since departing for a new life abroad. A return can present its own challenges – not least to your bank balance.

Missing your own bed?

Missing your own bed?

RECENTLY BECOME AN EXPAT?

Chipping In

First of all, there’s accommodation to consider. If you still have property in the UK, then it’s not so much of a problem but, if you’re staying with family or friends, it’s only natural you’ll want to make a contribution towards the cost of your stay.

That may include offering to pay for shopping or petrol, perhaps supplying alcohol to go with the meals or even taking everyone out for a slap-up dinner at the end of your stay. Whichever you choose, the risk is that, because you’ll often contribute in instalments, it’s harder to keep track.

Of course, you don’t want to seem preoccupied by the amounts involved so you may wave a £20 note around here or use the debit card there … but, before you know it, the £200 you got out of the cash machine at the airport could be gone and you’ll be back at the ATM to restock the purse.

RECENTLY BECOME AN EXPAT?

Getting Around

There’s also every chance travel will be more costly than you anticipated too. When you left “home” you probably had a car so may not have been aware of the expense involved in getting around without one. Regular use of public transport can be a significant drain on your resources, particularly if there’s a bit of distance involved.

Hiring a car is always an alternative and the cost per day will probably seem reasonable if you’re going to be doing a lot of moving around. However, remember to factor in the additional insurance to cover the excess for damage, and for fuel (currently selling at something close to £1.30p a litre in the UK).

RECENTLY BECOME AN EXPAT?

Friend Requests

By far the hardest aspect of a return “home” to control will be meeting up with friends. Of course, you’ll want to see them and they will want to see you – but it’s rarely all at the same time. If you’ve been away for a while, everyone will probably want your undivided attention – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But it does mean nights out can multiply at an alarming rate.

For your friends, it’s a single lunch or evening catching up; for you, it might be your fifth dinner in the pub or at a restaurant in a week and, if you’re unprepared or on a budget, that sort of punishment is hard for any debit or credit card to absorb.

Not only that, by the time you set off for your umpteenth date in ten days, there’s every chance you’ll be feeling a little jaded and perhaps ready for a quiet night in your PJs in front of the soaps you haven’t seen for ages.

RECENTLY BECOME AN EXPAT?

Keeping it Under Control

There are ways of controlling your expenditure; for example, you could use social media to let friends know where you’ll be at a certain time on a certain date and invite them to join you at their convenience.

Some may see that as a little arrogant; some may feel they won’t get the quality time they’d like in your company – but this might be one of those occasions when you have to accept it’s impossible to please all of the people all the time. It might be a case of balancing your friends’ demands against your bank manager’s.

However, perhaps the best advice we can offer is to set a reasonable budget before you board your flight “home” and to try to stick to it. Of course, you’ll probably want to allow for a few nights out, your travel and your accommodation but, if you start to get close to your limit, try to rein in your socialising or even be honest with family and friends.

After all, if they’re close, most will understand. It’s the people who count not the location so perhaps they’ll even join you on the sofa in front of Casualty, bring a bottle of wine and be ready with all the news and gossip when you’ve had time to get your breath back.

There’s definitely a feeling which is hard to describe when your plane’s wheels touch down in your home country when you’ve been away a while – a heady mix of anticipation, excitement and nostalgia, knowing soon you’ll be back in the bosom of all that is familiar.

However, if you’re unprepared or allow yourself to get a little carried away in the moment and spend freely without thinking about it too much, you may need to be prepared for an unpleasant aftershock when you get back.

If you would like any advice on this subject or if you would like to see any of the wonderful properties on our portfolio, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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