Repatriate: A Motivation Trick

September 25, 2018



Being a repat is interesting because one day you can be feeling great, and the next day completely awful. In the beginning, the days that you feel great are pretty few and far between, but as time goes on, they become more frequent (I promise!) but then the bad ones can really take you by surprise.


So I came up with a little trick - I put something motivating or comforting (or both:) on my lock screen wallpaper on my iPhone. It's amazing how quickly it takes hold when you set the intention of remembering to try to inhabit a certain mental space and then have multiple reminders per day to do so.
You can't force it, but I'm pretty sure every repat must eventually have a moment when they decide to go forward in their life instead of continuing to focus on going back, or wishing for what they used to have, or regretting that they no longer live their expat life. It's a big turning point in the process, but it's still an open door and there are days that you keep your eyes straight ahead and days that you find yourself looking back. 


Being a repat hurts so much. You feel like you've lost your sense of self, your identity, your rhythm and way of being in the world, your community and support system, your daily habits and creature comforts, your confidence in things both big and small. And that is okay. There's no use denying it. Even if the friends and loved ones around you don't understand in this moment, know that it's okay and you're okay.


Know that it won't last forever, because it really does feel like waiting as a repat. Waiting to feel at home, waiting to feel like yourself again, waiting to find joy. So when there are little glimmers and moments of joy (because there are!) it's important to remind yourself to cling to them.

I have an entire Pinterest board of phone wallpaper ideas. Go check them out and see if one might help you! Are you a repat struggling to move on, or maybe you're going through another type of grief or loss? What has helped you? Would you try a motivating phone wallpaper? Why or why not?

(Images via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5)

Join the conversation!

  1. Love this. I do the same but with images of very specific things that symbolise freedom or calm or peace for me. I rotate every week or two, and it's truly so powerful. Shame you can't comment with an image, I'd love to show you my current one :)

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    1. Oh this is so good! Send me an email - link in header. I'd love to see. xoxoxo

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  2. This should work! <3 https://www.deviantart.com/blue-a/art/Secret-place-490224513

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