How to Make Going Home the Best Part of Going Abroad - Intentional Travelers
Going home after abroad? Good news: you don't have to give up your global life! | Intentional Travelers

14 Nov How to Make Going Home the Best Part of Going Abroad

Your suitcase is packed and you’ve said your good-byes. You’re going home.

(Can you even call it “home” anymore?)

You loved your time abroad, and you’re proud of what you accomplished, the friendships you made, and the life you created. Unfortunately, going home means giving up your amazing global life, right?

It doesn’t have to!

Sure, the abroad experience you loved so much is coming to a close. But going home doesn’t have to mean that your global life is over.

Here’s the thing: living abroad doesn’t guarantee that you’ll live a global life. Just think about the people you’ve met who are abroad but still live a monocultural life. And being in your home country doesn’t mean you’re destined to live a boring non-global life.

When you really think about it, what you most want is a satisfying, meaningful, and adventurous life, right?

A life that builds on your experiences abroad, includes what (and who!) is most important to you, and keeps you learning, growing, and moving forward, no matter where in the world you are.

Here’s the key to living a fulfilling global life for the rest of your life: find your Global Life Ingredients.

What are Global Life Ingredients?

If you’re going to bake a cake, there are a few basic ingredients you need to include in order to ensure that the end result is a cake. Similarly, your Global Life Ingredients are a shortlist of the things that are most important to you at this point in your life. They’re the experiences, feelings, relationships, connections, and goals that you must have in your life in order to feel like you’re living a meaningful, satisfying, and adventurous global life, no matter where in the world you are.

When you know what your Global Life Ingredients are, you know exactly what you need and want in order to be fulfilled and satisfied. You’re able to intentionally evaluate potential job and life opportunities and confidently select the one that’s truly right for who you are now. You’re able to more smoothly move through re-entry and dive into your next global adventure.

What do Global Life Ingredients Look Like?

To give you an example, here are Michelle’s Global Life Ingredients, which she shared in my Re-entry Relaunch Roadmap workbook:

1. Prioritizing time, flexibility, and generosity over having money and stuff.
2. Life-long learning, especially through interaction with different cultures and new
3. Staying in tune with global issues and using my U.S. citizenship to advocate for a more
just world.
4. Going somewhere new at least once a year.
5. Exploring warmer climates during the winter and being “home” during Oregon’s best
season: summer.
6. Practicing a foreign language at least once a week.


Your Global Life Ingredients might look very similar to Michelle’s or they might look very different. Your ingredients are unique to you.

Going home after abroad? Good news: you don't have to give up your global life! | Intentional Travelers

Ready to Find Your Global Life Ingredients?

Good news: re-entry is the perfect time to identify your Global Life Ingredients! Here’s how to get started:

1. Make a big list of the experiences, feelings, connections, relationships, goals, etc., that are most important to you at this point in your life. Write down everything you can think of – everything that was important to you before you went abroad, what became important to you while abroad, and what’s important to you now.

2. Then choose three to five things from that list that you can’t imagine living without. These things are your Global Life Ingredients.

3. Now put your Global Life Ingredients to work. As you evaluate potential opportunities (jobs, where you might want to live, travel, relationships, etc), ask yourself these questions:

  • To what extent does this opportunity align with my Global Life Ingredients? All of them? Only one? A couple but only kinda sorta? If this opportunity doesn’t align with my Global Life Ingredients, how ok am I with that?
  • Which of my Global Life Ingredients are non-negotiable?
  • Is it possible to modify the opportunity so that it better aligns with my Global Life Ingredients?

4. After evaluating the potential opportunities before you, make your selection.

5. Confidently dive into your next adventure!

You may be on your way home but you don’t have to leave your global life behind. Find your Global Life Ingredients and you’ll live a global life for the rest of your life!

A note from Michelle: If you’re struggling with returning home after being abroad, Cate is a great resource! I’ve personally gone through her Re-entry Relaunch workbook and mastermind group, and can say first hand that these are excellent tools for a better, more intentional re-entry.


brubaker-cateCate Brubaker is a former expat and current part-time nomad who’s lived, studied, worked, and traveled in 37 countries on four continents. Through her website, Facebook group, and upcoming virtual retreat, Cate helps global adventurers go from bummed about being back home to brimming with excitement about their next global adventure. She loves travel (duh) and never says no to gelato.

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