Researchers are increasingly aware that nonlinear perspectives of the transition into adulthood and non-economic motives, such as family and friends, may help to improve our understanding of young adults' migration decisions. This paper combines these new insights with the traditional economic success-failure arguments in order to explain young adults' return migration to their rural home region. We present four orientations in return motives: the social, family, functional and partner orientation. They consist of different combinations of the stereotypical success-failure arguments with non-serial transitional stages, and with different attachments to the home region. They also show that in some cases, return migration should actually be interpreted as staying in the home region, because the young adult returnees had not mentally left the region. We therefore state that our results provide a solid argument for reinterpreting the out-migration of young people from rural areas.