Remember when you moved abroad and struggled to get used to a new culture? Well, get ready because after returning to your home country you might experience reverse culture shock and it might be even more miserable than that culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad. Here’s some tips for how to deal with reverse culture shock.
Reverse culture shock tends to happen when you return home and suddenly realize you are a completely different person than when you left. Most of us expats try hard to fit into the society we are living in and although we might not realize it at first, we do change to become a reflection of that society. When you return to your home country you may feel utterly out of place. You will likely go through the same stages of adjustment as you went through when you originally experienced culture shock.
1. Spend Time With Your Family And Friends:
Being back home with some of your favorite people will help to remind you how great your home can be. Spend a lot of time with your family and friends that you missed while you were away
2. Eat The Foods You Missed:
Head straight to Dunkin Donuts or Chipotle and binge eat and thank your lucky stars that you can eat this tasty food again. It will totally help your transition back into your home culture. Mmmmm Chipotle. I could totally go for some of that goodness right now.
3. Stay In Contact With People You Met
Staying in contact with your friends abroad will help you to still feel connected to the culture. It can be hard to be back in your home country where nobody knows what you’re talking about when you refer to cultural things from abroad. You’ll feel like nobody gets you. Ugh, it sucks.
4. Try To Stay Grounded
I find that sometimes when I’m in the US I come off as a huge snob. It’s hard to be around people that have never been abroad and ask you questions in which the answers may seem really obvious. I’ve been asked, “Do they have concerts in Germany?” “Do people in Costa Rica own washing machines?” “Is it safe to travel in Europe with all the refugees?” As much as it bothers me off, I’ve learned to answer politely and be thankful that I’ve gotten to experience these cultures well enough to know the answers. (Also deep breathing exercises help.) 🙂
5. Use Your Experiences to Your Advantage
One super great advantage of gaining perspective in another culture is that it might help you find a job. If you have good language skills you can try to find a job translating or teaching. If you know a lot about the culture you can become a cultural trainer. These are great ways to still feel a bit connected to the culture of the country you had been living in.
6. Start Planning Your Next Adventure
Want to know the best cure for reverse culture shock? Plan your next trip! Try to find the cheapest flights possible, find a cool destination, and go live your life how you want to live it.
Do you have any tips for how to deal with reverse culture shock? We’d love to hear them in the comment section below!
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