By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Reverse culture shock

You’ve been living in a new, exciting, stimulating land for months or years. The sights, sounds, smells, people and adventures have all been new and invigorating. Then, it’s all over. Your contract is up, your visa has expired, and it’s time to head back home.

Arriving home and only seeing mono-lingual signage, hearing announcements in only one language at the baggage carousel while being subjected to having to listen to some garish regional accent at the neighboring baggage carousel; it’s all a part of reverse culture shock. Or at least it was for me. Sure it’s nice to be home in the town that I’m most familiar with, yet, it’s so unexciting. So uneventful. So not stimulating to the mind.

So, how do you deal with this reverse culture shock? I’ve found that in order to keep myself stimulated, engaged and continuously learning, I’ve got to put the effort into doing so myself. I suggest doing some of the following:

-Look for local community organizations focused on your interest, which you may have developed further or newly discovered while teaching: language conversation, regional cooking, education, outdoor adventuring, art, etc.

Search for and envelop yourself in the news and daily activities of your former host country.

-Remember that newspaper you read while riding the public transit to work? Sign up for their RSS feed in order to receive news updates directly to your email inbox.

-How about your favorite foreign news channel? I bet their website hosts recent news clips. There may even be older material available for viewing online on YouTube.

– How about your favorite radio station where you discovered some great new artists you would have never otherwise discovered at home? Check its website to see if has got live streaming available. It would make perfect sense if it did.

-Surely dining was an adventure. I’m quite sad kiwi yogurt doesn’t look to exist in the US like it does in France. What’s the next best thing? Find a regional grocery store which just might carry some of your favorite foods as imported products. Your exquisite, international cuisine will surely impress your friends at your next get-together.

You’ll always have the memories! Now take steps to recreate those memories domestically.

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