All You Need To Know About Reverse Culture Shock

Culture shock is that feeling of disorientation a person experiences when thrust into an unfamiliar culture, place or lifestyle. If you are an avid traveler, then I’m sure you must have experienced this at some point or the other way round during your travels.

Culture shock can be quite frustrating sometimes. However, there is another type of feeling that comes with traveling, the ‘Reverse Culture Shock’.

At the end of your trip, you may think that returning to your home country and its more familiar culture will be easy and fulfilling. But it is not always so. Although, at first you may feel great to be back home, but sometimes you also end up feeling somewhat lost, especially if yours had been a long trip. This feeling is what is known as Reverse Culture Shock.

Causes of Reverse Culture Shock

There are several reasons why you may feel this way on your return home, but chief among them is change. I do not mean a change to your home country, but that you have changed. Experiencing and living in a new culture and lifestyle abroad is bound to have changed you in some way, even if it’s very little. There will be some things that you no longer fancy. There might also be a feeling of coming back-to-the-routine. In fact, you may feel like returning to that abroad culture or wishing things were the way it was abroad. All these and more can be contributing causes to your reverse culture shock.

reverse culture shock

Stages of Reverse Culture Shock   

There are stages to this feeling;

  1. Disengagement: This stage comes just before you leave your location abroad. It is the ‘goodbye stage’ and helps you get closure as you step out of this new culture. It may come with sadness to leave, or anxiousness to get back home.
  2. Initial Excitement: This is the stage of pure euphoria on getting home. You get to be with your family and friends again, see your favorite places and maybe speak your native language again. It can be quite exciting but alas, it passes quickly.
  3. Irritability: After all the initial euphoria come the mood swings, alienation and even frustration. You may not find it so easy to get back to your normal life. It is a hard stage and may last for a while.
  4. Readjustment and Adaptation: After the irritable phase comes the readjustment period. You get to gradually readjust to your lifestyle and imbibe your new qualities into your way of life now.

After you go through these stages, then you know that it is now time to adapt and use your newly learned knowledge to make life better for you.



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