About Rocky Re-entry

Reverse Culture Shock and Reentry

logo-for-rocky-reentryWhy I started Rocky Reentry:

I just keep running into them:  wonderful, likeable people who for one reason or another have found themselves back in the USA after a time of living internationally.  Sometimes by choice, sometimes because it was the best of the bad options, sometimes because there wasn’t another option.

And they’re finding this re-entry journey harder than they signed up for.  Secretly, they were hoping that they’d left their high stress job behind and that although there would be an “adjustment period” it couldn’t possibly be harder than anything they’d experienced overseas.  But, that’s exactly what they’re finding.  That the re-entry journey is the hardest road they’ve ever traveled.  And there are land minds and chuckholes and densely foggy portions of the road that surpass any back jungle dirt paths or intense traffic they ever dealt with overseas.

My own re-entry experience (moving back to the US after three years of living internationally) was that type of road.  A rocky one…full of twists, turns, and struggles…and I wish that when I was in the thick of it…someone had told me that what I was dealing with was something others’ experienced.  This blog is a space where ramblings from my own and others re-entry experiences can perhaps provide encouragement and to those on this rocky road.

I am not an expert in this field.  I am just a fellow journeyer…the re-entry journey is a life long process.  Sadly, there is no a magic five step plan to make the journey easier. Everyone’s experience is unique. But there is something healing about both telling and hearing reentry stories.

Rocky Reentry‘s goal is to provide space to share stories about moving back to the US after living overseas and for others on that journey to gain some community as they read.

Stories in this blog are true stories from real people {some authors may choose to post anonymously due to the personal nature of their stories}.

Re-entry experiences by nature are a redefining of our identity.  This makes them a private and sacred thing.  We hope you to find community and encouragement in this space, but we also encourage you to process the deeper parts of your life overseas and reentry journey with safe people in your personal support network and when appropriate with trained professionals.  We are also compiling resources for those moving back to the US after living abroad. 

Although many vocations lead people to live internationally and many reasons bring people back home, we are primarily focusing on those global workers transitioning off the field who are processing their re-entry experience within the context of their faith journey.  I’m not a huge fan of the word missionary…it is a complicated word in today’s world…but for the purpose of this blog it is a common way of identifying people who move overseas for similar reasons.  We may talk about things that all recovering expats can relate to, but we are primarily writing for those transitioning out of international full time ministry and moving back to their ‘home’ country.

Have you recently transitioned off the field after serving overseas?

Connect with other people who are also in the re-entry journey.

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Have re-entry stories to share? We’d love to hear them!
Disclaimer: What this blog is not!
  • Therapy or an attempt at providing mental health care to those in the reentry process.
  • Answers to make the re-entry journey disappear.  This is a hard process.  Nothing we can say here will erase that fact.
  • A forum for processing personal stories:  we think that’s best done with trained professionals and safe people in your personal support network.
  • A blog about the MK or TCK journey.  MK’s and TCK’s have a unique reentry journey which I don’t pretend to have personal experience with.  This blog focuses primarily on adults making a reentry journey after moving overseas as adults.

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I am so excited you launched this. I have been praying for you since you started talking about this idea. I am so thankful for this resource!!!

  • After serving 8 years in the UK I had NO idea how hard moving back to the USA would be. A book that really helped me was ‘After the Boxes are Unpacked’ by Susan Miller. Moving is hard, I am not a crazy person!!! Many blessings!

  • After serving 8 years in the UK I had no idea how difficult moving back to the USA would be. A book that really helped – ‘After the Boxes are Unpacked’ by Susan Miller. Moving is hard, I’m not a crazy person!! Blessings!

  • Dear all, I was just reading today parts of your website and I am very excited about that. I do have a lot of talks with people about their re-entry and I also know from my own experiences what it is. We are organising meetings with people, just to meet each other in their re-entry processes. But I was already for a longer time thinking about sharing experiences and writing blogs, but didn’t started with it yet. Also I am living in the Netherlands and it will be great to do it in our own languages. I just thougth I like to share this with you and if that is alright to refer to your website/blogs or even to used some of the blogs for people overhere. I just want to ask you for that and to be open for that if that is possible? Blessings

  • Hi Ruthie,

    Thank you so much for what you have shared here. I was in UK for 5 years and now back to my home country (Malaysia) for nearly 2 years and the reverse culture shock is super real. Think I could be at the middle years stage now, perhaps.. feeling stuck.. especially in the area of church!.. Your blog is a great blessings to me! 🙂

  • Dear Colleagues,
    I am so glad to know of your website and want to bless you for the good work you are doing. We will be sure to suggesting your website to missionaries as they return.
    MissionPREP is in the process of starting a Debrief program similar to DAR of Missionary Trainers International, Colorado Springs, in 2016 in Toronto, Canada. We have been training pre-field Missionaries from USA and Canada for over 20 years as an interagency organization and now looking to expand to serving missionaries as they return for furlough or long term. We will be posting our dates soon. Pray with us for God’s resources and anointing to help our brothers and sisters in Christ as they return to USA & Canada.

    Sincerely in Christ,
    Ken Benson
    Director MissionPREP

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