Culture Shock, Reversed


I have researched the term ‘reverse culture shock’ extensively in order to gain a better understanding of potential issues presented to one returning back ‘home’. Perhaps I could have done more of this while I was actually still in Asia. I acknowledged a few points, but that doesn’t suffice when you find yourself sitting in traffic again and being bombarded by recurring problems that you didn’t think would still recur.

It is quite a complex phenomenon; no case is the same. I have experienced symptoms but apparently that’s ‘normal’. Herewith a few symptoms of reverse culture shock:

1. Unfamiliarity coupled with familiarity – although things change, they also stay the same.

2. Depression – crying randomly, oversleeping, eating too many carbs, etc.

3.  Frustration – the little things you took for granted, come back to taunt you now in the form of: “Well . . when I was in [insert former host country name]. . was better”.

4. Overseas-focused – Conversing too much about one’s experience. From what I have read, and seen, some people don’t really care. Some people really do. I suppose it is best to know how much to say to who, and when. After reading about that point, I realised I was guilty of this, so I guess I monitor myself more.

5. Feeling like a fish out of water – I need not explain this.

6. Anxiety – worrying about things that weren’t an issue ‘back there’. Well, now it’s time to wake up very early and smell the coffee.

Winging it isn’t always a winning formula. . .

Although the aforementioned problems are experienced by some, there are also ways of dealing with the situation, apparently.

Solutions include:

1. Travelling more around one’s country.

2. Partaking in interesting activities and developing interests and hobbies.

3. Getting re-acquainted with one’s friends.

4. Regular exercise.

Even so, it is still weird. Tired of feeling lost, I turned to. . . baking and cooking. There were some fails, but hey, it was a distraction.



Baked macaroni and cheese

Baked macaroni and cheese

And there you have it. The weirdest part is that I missed being home. What I didn’t realise was that I was home, already.


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