Even before you set off on a lengthy trip around the world it is worth recognising that it will be a challenge to return back home. In many cases it can be a bigger culture shock than the one you experienced at your first destination.
I remember ordering a coffee shortly after touching down back in the UK, in my head all I could hear was my order in Spanish. It was strange to be in a situation where I was speaking English after 8 months in South America.
At first you may find it a relief to be back home, seeing your friends and family after such a long period of time. All the comforts of home will welcome you back, clean clothes and your own comfy bed. But don’t get too comfortable because just around the corner are a whole heap of re-entry issues to deal with.
You may find that you feel like there is more distance between you and your friends mainly because you have a different outlook on things.
Don’t be surprised that friends and family won’t want to hear every single story from your travels, if they haven’t been there they may find it difficult to relate.
Be ready to be confronted by repeated mind numbing questions such as “how was the trip?“, “where was your favourite place?“. This doesn’t sound too bad, but when you’ve heard it for the hundredth time in can start to grate. It’s almost as bad as the questions you get when you’re traveling, “where are you from“, “how long are you traveling for?“.
How to cope
Keep In Touch
Try staying in touch with the people you’ve met whilst traveling, this can easily be done via the likes of Facebook these days. By keeping in touch when you get home will increase the likelihood you’ll meet again.
If you were learning a language on the road you should try to keep up the lessons back home or even if you never quite learnt any how about taking some lessons now?
Find new hobbies
Finding new hobbies or interests you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to is a great way to get back into life at home. There are many hobbies that you just couldn’t do whilst traveling, now is the time to do them.
Take a short trip
Take some time out and take a short break. You don’t have to go away for a long time or to far away places but to do some independent travel will help even if it is just to meet some like minded travelers.
Bring back the memories
Bring back the memories from your travels, read back some of your travel blog or organise your photos.
The worst thing you can do is to sit around and do nothing. Having some time to chill out for a while is good, but don’t over do it. Find some hobbies and interests or learn that language that you never fully mastered.
Although your traveling experience may change your outlook forever you may find it difficult to re-adjust once you make it back home.
It’s always a good idea to have this in mind even before you depart.
Have you ever experienced culture shock on re-entry after coming back home? What happened and how did you cope?