Reverse culture shock
You feel more versed, more experienced. You remember
adjusting to the new culture, the new way of life and the jet
lag that came from your long flight. The good news is that you
have already experienced this and dealt with it, but now you
are going to have to do it all over again.
You arrive home but it doesn’t feel like home. You know that
you have changed but so has your home. Walking once
familiar streets feels different and foreign. Even your friends
are different. It is like you do not even know them anymore.
What is happening to you? You are experiencing reverse
culture shock. This has been documented by many
publications and affects people to varying degrees.
You have just experienced an amazing adventure full of
challenges and stories. You just discovered how easy it was to
move from city to city, and country to country. When you got
bored of a place, you would just move to another. There you
would make quick friends for a couple of days and start
exploring and adventuring all the interesting spots. If you like
your new place you would stay as long as you liked or if
another opportunity presented itself you would jump on that
next bus or train and start something new.
What to do now that you are back at home and not in some
exotic location. Instead of a hostel, you have an apartment or
your family’s house. As for travelling to new cities on a whim,
you are now stuck in one place for much longer than a week.
Your friends have changed only slightly while you have
grown so much in experience. No matter how good you are at
telling your adventure stories, your friends just cannot relate to
what you have experienced. You find that day to day,
everything happens at a much slower pace than what you are
used to. It seems that you have been travelling at 100
kilometres per hour, only to wake up the next day and find
yourself down to a slow trot. Welcome to the reality of reverse
culture shock or the backpacker’s hangover!