Do you have a strange, special snowflake campaign setting that steers away from D&D tropes? Would it make more sense for the PCs to be "strangers in a strange land" than natives, given that the players aren't going to get to know the setting well enough to behave like they're indigenous? There is plenty of historical precedent for groups of adventurers stranded in foreign lands of which they know nothing, with no way to get home. For instance:
The Russian Expeditionary Force in France was a brigade-strength unit sent from Russia to the Western Front to fight alongside France in the First World War. A considerable portion were Estonians. In one of those bizarre twists of globalization in which the First and Second World War abounded, a group of them ended up serving with the 1st Moroccan Division: Russians and Estonians in France, fighting with North Africans against Germans.
The Czech Legion was formed from Czech and Slovak volunteers and served with the Imperial Russian Army; after the revolution in 1917 they began to trek Eastwards through Siberia all the way to Vladivostok to get on board ships bound for France. On the way they tangled with the Bolsheviks and became involved in the Siberian Intervention, when Japanese, American, French, Canadian, British and Italian troops landed in Vladivostok to support the Whites against the Reds in the Russian Civil War. It is also said that, on the way, the Legion ended up in possession of 8 train carriages of gold bullion from the Imperial Reserve. It is also said that some of the Czechs remained in Siberia into the 1920s, and helped the Koreans defeat the Japanese at the Battle of Qingshanli.
After the surrender of the Emperor in September 1945, thousands of Japanese troops remained in China fighting alongside the nationalists against warlords and communists. Some were there for years afterwards.
The Blue Division were Spanish volunteers in the German invasion of the USSR in 1941. In total 286 of them were held captive after the way until 1954, when they were repatriated to Spain.
Basques from Northern Spain were fishing cod off Newfoundland from the beginning of the 16th Century; some even argue the Basques may have discovered North America before Columbus (though after the Vikings, obviously). Some of the earliest trade jargons in the New World were mixtures of Basque and local Native American tongues.
The notion of a bunch of rubes fumbling their way around a weird place they know nothing about, then, is remarkably common in human history. There isn't much of a better excuse to set players loose on a hex crawl than "you are stranded here for reason x, now what?"