Episode 7: Podcast Extras + Breakdown
We feel like most people know about culture shock, but maybe a less talked about part of traveling is when you come home and experience reverse culture shock.
So let’s paint a picture. You’ve just returned home from a 2 month trip where you made new friends from around the world, experienced new cultures, maybe you learned a lot about yourself, and figured out how to rely on yourself for the first time and overall you've had the best time in your life. It's basically been a new adventure every day!
getting used to your new destination
Usually when you've been out and about in the world for awhile, you'll start to have some sort of routine which you've become comfortable with and gotten used to.
After a while you've adjusted to how to get around, you're getting the hang of speaking the local language a little bit, you have a favorite cafe or food you really love. And it's starting to feel familiar to you. And it alllways seems like right around the time you start getting the hang of things, it's about time to go home.
Annnd now you’re home and you have to go back to work or school and your regular life. And nobody really asks how your trip was and if they do, well, they’re not really listening and they don’t really care. Sooo welcome to reverse culture shock, it is terrible.
The reverse culture shock comes when you have to leave the NEW environment you’ve gotten used to and back to your same old life and routine.
You feel things like; boredom, restlessness, sadness or depressed, irritated with things about your own culture, uneasy, lonely, missing the people/places/new friends and a whole bunch of other things.
It's kinda like the feeling of, " this time last month I was sippin' wine in France" and now you're just plopped back down into your regular life. And it sort of feels like you never even left.
Nobody cares that you traveled
After we traveled for the first time and just had the most amazing experience and came home, we were SO excited to share it with other people and talk about it and show people pictures and people were pretty much not interested. There were a few people who at least pretended they were interested, which was nice of them, but for the most part, people would ask the, “ohhh how was your trip, what was your favorite place?” and then we would talk to about 30 seconds and then the had that look on their face of like glazed over eyes and just nodding along, so usually we would just stop talking.
How to deal
We have found having another trip to look forward to always helps! Even if it is way, wayyyy in the future. And we usually feel restless and get antsy when we have nothing to plan, or look forward to.
Having someone to reminisce with about this stuff is helpful, and we do ALL the time. Or at least, if you have other people in your life that have traveled or are interested in traveling, sometimes those people at least will listen to you!
Getting involved with other travelers also helps, whether it's online or in-person. It's just like any other interest or hobby, being surrounded with like-minded people helps to ease reverse culture shock, and also give you a little community of travel friends!
What is reverse culture shock [00:02:50]
Talking to family and friends about your travels [00:07:36]
Finding a community of like-minded people [00:10:05]