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 many ways, 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.
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 that will touch a special place in their heart.
Local recipes and cookbooks
One thing I absolutely miss are some of the amazing foods I’ve grown accustomed to while living abroad. Anyone returning home will love receiving local recipes or a cookbook. Food is intricately tied to culture and tradition, so why not let them try to replicate 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.
Social media prints or photo books
For photographers and social media lovers, make their digital memories come to life with prints of their Instagram or Facebook photos. PastBook quickly creates photo books from Instagram, Facebook, or individual photos. Digital photos easily get lost, create a photo book so your traveler can reminisce on their time abroad.
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 their time abroad all the time! The beautiful professional photographs in books like In the Spirit of Bali, Paris: Portrait of a City or The London Book will help them to acclimate into life back home.
Books or movies in a foreign language
If the traveler spent a good amount of time abroad, they surely picked up the local language. Being back home, I’m positive that they miss hearing and speaking 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.
Is the traveler a coffee drinker? If so then trust me, they’re dying for a “real” brew like they drank abroad. The process of making and drinking coffee is very different around the world, so a bit of research is needed. I once ordered an exceptional espresso in Greece and realized that the grounds aren’t filtered out. Some more popular coffee makers are the French press, or a Turkish coffee maker called an ibrik (that’s what they used in Greece).
Capsule machines are also very common in many parts of the world. Those always on the go will like the illy Y3.2 iperEspresso Machine or Nespresso Inissia. A cheap and very traditional option is a Moka Pot Espresso Maker used throughout Europe and Latin America. I bought a Moka Pot after living in Italy and I’ve been using it for years!
Whether it’s beer, wine, liqueur or tea, every location has a typical drink. Most are usually hard to find outside of the country, so check your local specialty shop or see if you can order it online. Italian Aperol, Hungarian pálinka, Sardinian mirto, or mate are all thoughtful gift ideas.
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.