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CULTURE SHOCK ON RETURNING HOME

Travel Forums General Talk CULTURE SHOCK ON RETURNING HOME

1. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 9y

You expect to experience some culture shock when you are away BUT what's it like to return to your own culture?

2. Posted by lil j (Travel Guru 1303 posts) 9y

GREAT question-i can't wait to hear from others who have been away for like 1 year or even a few!

so come on, coz i wanna know ...

3. Posted by leahrb (Full Member 209 posts) 9y

I was in Spain for only three months and when i was driving back from the airport with my dad especially once we got into our town I just kept saying everything seems so flat (as in the buildings) and spread out.
Also I used to not like running on some streets that were "busy" streets becuase I felt like a lot of people were watching me but when I got back this summer it was more like "where is everybody? and why is there noone around?" And to a lesser degree it was a little wierd to talk to everyone in English again.
Another big change was when I got back to my college which is a small college in a small town and you run into people you know EVERYWHERE so I went from having known no one for the entire someone to seeing people I knew all over.

4. Posted by mtlchica (Respected Member 922 posts) 9y

When I came back from my European extravaganza ( ) I found it realy hard to adjust to the NA way of life. It was great because all my friends and family are here, yadda, yadda, yadda, but it just seemed cold. When I was overseas, despite not knowing anyone but my travel companions, I felt warm and fuzzy....There was culture all around me and so many things to exlore! Buildings were closer to each other and older, giving it a nostalgic feel. And there were so many people walking around without a stressed look on their faces. Here, despite living in one of the most historic cities in NA, it just didn't seem to fit. People were stressed and in a hurry to get to work, buildings are more modern and spread out, and the culture is just something that I'm used to. When I was away that summer, I walked everywhere, never watched TV (save one time in Germany) and just felt healthy. Here, when I'm bored, instead of going outside for a jog, I tend to plop in front of the sofa and watch TV. I dunno...I guess Europe made me want to start the day and explore, chat with a local merchant, and spread out on the grass. Here, I want to sleep in (just five more minutes ;) ), go to the store, and watch soap operas.

Looks like I should head back to Paris!

Cheers,
Katie ;)

5. Posted by soliqa (Respected Member 284 posts) 9y

I went to France on a school trip, admittedly it was only for 3 weeks, but we stayed with host families so were expected to speak French for pretty much the entire stay. I got back to Australia, and even after such a short time, speaking english again was really hard, and my family would continuly be annoyed when i would ask them for things in french!! the joys of travelling...

6. Posted by Zhou (Full Member 126 posts) 9y

When I was back from Europe, I was very unsure how to go across a street in certain places of Beijing. The light was red but people just walked straight ahead. Besides "French traffic"in Paris, there should be a word of "Chinese traffic".

7. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 9y

Quoting lil j

GREAT question-i can't wait to hear from others who have been away for like 1 year or even a few!

so come on, coz i wanna know ...

When returning from an EXTENDED international visit, you may find no one willing to relive all those fascinating, cultural memories. Family and friends are often waiting to greet with you open arms, but not always with open eyes.Facing the unbelievable "newness" of home and the unwillingness of friends to listen can make you feel more like a stranger in your own country than when you were abroad.

8. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 9y

[quote=mtlchica]When I came back from my European extravaganza ( ) I found it realy hard to adjust to the NA way of life. It was great because all my friends and family are here, yadda, yadda, yadda, but it just seemed cold.

Within a few days of returning to Australia in September 2002, I knew that the best thing I could do was book a flight out. Life was far too comfortable in my own country. I could easily slip into a sense of complacency ... roll over and wake up a couple of years later, with the only sure reward of extra money in the bank. But, why delay?
I flew to Singapore, caught a bus up to Bangkok, then Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, & China. About a year later; back to Bangkok, before flying over to India,and onto Nepal. I decided I wanted to return to China, so I joined an 8 day overland 4WD tour from Kathmandu, Nepal to Lhasa in Tibet. No one on the tour enjoyed the altitude sickness. I fairly promptly flew back into mainland China.

In June 2004, I did a visa run to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Pai was pretty chilled, but at first my culture shock was seeing westerners again.

9. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 9y

Quoting Wocca

You expect to experience some culture shock when you are away BUT what's it like to return to your own culture?

I don't want to find out again, so I have no plans of returning in the foreseeable future.