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The Cultural Shock Of Coming Home: 8 Signs Of Reverse Culture Shock

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The Cultural Shock Of Coming Home: 8 Signs Of Reverse Culture Shock

For some people, travelling is a way of life. It is a chance to be adventurous, to see the world and other cultures. Travelling is often eye-opening, and it can help you to learn more about yourself. However, all travellers come home eventually, and it can be hard to get used to normal life again.

From constant storytelling to shock at the differences in prices, check out 8 signs of culture shock that all frequent travellers will be able to relate to.

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1. The happiness when you first go home

After spending 4 months in a village in Africa, you are so happy to be able to use indoor plumbing again. The local shop was a 3-hour walk away when you were travelling, but now you are home and you can see the shop from your window. You can’t quite believe how simple and easy life is at home – and you can’t wait to eat your favourite snacks again!

2. The constant storytelling

You don’t want to be that guy, but you love telling your friends and family about your latest adventure. From the amazing stories about exploring forests to more mundane stories about your flight, you simply can’t stop thinking of things to tell everyone – even when they are all telling you to stop talking about your travels.

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3. Struggling with price differences

Your first night out at home was difficult for you. Secretly, you couldn’t believe how expensive the drinks and food were – the whole night out ended up costing more than a week in a hostel in Southeast Asia.

4. Feeling shocked by the differences in culture

Often, travellers live without running water and electricity – basic things that many people can’t imagine living without. Now that you are back home, you can’t stop noticing how convenient your lifestyle is; you can buy a bag of crisps whenever you feel peckish, and you can go to the doctor’s if you have any aches or pains.

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The differences in culture initially seemed shocking, but you are very grateful to live in a country where you have everything that you need.

5. Getting confused between your old lifestyle and your new lifestyle

It can be tough adjusting to the lifestyle differences. You struggled to get used to daily showering after living in a rural village where clean water was scarce, and you walked down the street with a bottle of wine after drinking in London. Every society has different rules, and you pride yourself on respecting these rules.

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6. Moments of total sadness

After a few days of being happy to be home, sudden sadness sets in. You miss the weather, the culture, the locals, the food, the drinks, and the freedom, and you can’t stop reminiscing about your last trip. You think about it while you shower, while you queue to buy food, and while you lay in bed at night. Who knew you could miss travelling so much?

7. Planning to go back

After a week of sadness, you have already started to plan your next trip in your mind. You are constantly reading travel blogs and checking flight prices, and you are starting to work out how much you will need to save.

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Your loved ones think that you are crazy to already be planning your next adventure, but you can’t wait to get back on the plane.

8. Having no money because you are saving to go travelling again

Now that you know you are going away again, it is time to start scrimping and saving once more. You are back to eating noodles and staying inside, so that each week you slowly draw closer to your next exciting adventure. You can’t wait to be back on the road again!

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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