The Perfect Gifts For People Who Just Returned Home From Abroad

The Perfect Gifts For People Who Just Returned Home From Abroad

If someone just returned home from abroad, they will be feeling a mix of emotions. Working and living in a foreign country is always difficult in its own way, but returning home holds a separate set of challenges. Reverse cultural shock is real people! These unique gifts will help them settle in to their new life back home.

The holidays are right around the corner. If you know someone who has recently returned home from a foreign country, a student almost finished with their study abroad program or someone always traveling, this guide will help you find them the perfect gift they are definitely going to love.

Local recipes and cookbooks

One thing I absolutely miss are some of the amazing foods I’ve grown to love while living abroad. Anyone returning home will love receiving local recipes or a cookbook. Food is intricately tied to culture and traditions, so why not let them try and cook these dishes from home? I recommend Catalonia: Spanish Recipes from Barcelona and Beyond and Catalan Cuisine for those who were living in Barcelona, like me.


Something personalized always gives an added special touch to any gift. There are tons of travel inspired jewelry out there that are handmade. This vintage map necklace is personalized to show a specific location and message, whereas a personalized coordinate bracelet is a great gift for both men and women. It’s also a good idea to check if the specific city or country has a special symbol or traditional jewelry from the area. Just make sure it’s not something touristy and is sold by a local company.

Local drinks

Whether it’s a special brand of beer, wine, liqueur or tea, every location has a typical drink. Most are usually hard to find in typical super markets, but see if there’s a specialty shop in your area or order it online. Italian Aperol, Hungarian pálinka, Sardinian mirto, or mate, typical from some countries in South America area all great ideas.

Coffee Table Book

Coffee table books bring a little part of the city into the traveler’s home. I’m certain that they’re still thinking about it all the time! The beautiful professional photographs in books like In the Spirit of BaliParis: Portrait of a City or The London Book will help them to acclimate into life back home.

Social media prints

returned from abroad print photos
pc: Max Pixel

For the photographer or social media lover, make their digital memories come to life with prints of their Instagram or Facebook photos. Social Print Studio creates magnets, wood prints, postcards and more with photos from Instagram, while Simple Canvas Prints easily creates the perfect canvas to reminisce on their time abroad.

Coffee maker

Is the traveler a coffee drinker? Than trust me, they’re dying for a “real” brew. The process of making and drinking coffee is very different around the world. I once ordered a coffee in Greece and realized that the grounds aren’t filtered out. If the traveler is always in a rush, I recommend a machine which uses capsules like the illy Y3.2 iperEspresso Machine or Nespresso Inissia, the later is currently on sale. A cheaper and more traditional option is a Moka Pot Espresso Maker, which I love and have been using for years. There are tons of other coffee makers as well, like the French press, or Turkish coffee maker, an ibrik (that’s what they typically use in Greece).

Books or movies in a foreign language

If the traveler spent a good amount of time abroad, I’m sure they picked up the local language. Being back home, I’m positive that they miss hearing it every day. Anyone who was an expat will be touched by a book or movie in the language of their host country. Not sure what book to get them? A Kindle Unlimited gift card or Audible ebook membership lets them choose exactly what they want. They can also test the service free for 30 days to see if they like it.

I would be really happy to get any of these gifts this year, so I know your expat who just returned home will love them too.

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What other gifts would you recommend for people living abroad who recently returned to their home country? Let me know in the comments.

Just so you know, some links in this post are affiliate links. I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you buy something. I only ever link to things I’ve actually tried or would use myself. Your support helps to keep Lost & Abroad up and running.


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