The people around you are unfamiliar. The culture, their habits, their view of life is completely different. It’s exciting, intriguing and scary. You have jumped out of your comfort zone to get new experiences. The unfamiliarity of things is what trigger the culture shock. You would like to get something that reminds you of home. Culture shock strikes when you enter a new country, a new culture where everything is very unfamiliar to you. Probably cultural shock has struck you at least once in your life.
But did you know that culture shock can hit you also when you return home?
Especially when you have spent a longer time abroad arriving home might be surprisingly difficult. You have missed home and you feel like it’s wonderful to go home and meet all the people you love. You meet them, you share all the lovely memories from your trip and then starts the real life.
Culture shock at home has struck me a few times. I feel like I am home but I feel myself a stranger. I feel like a stranger in my own life. I have the same job and the same house I had before I left but it doesn’t feel the same. Something has changed. And that something is me myself.
Culture shock at home is even harder than the culture shock in a new country. You know you have come home but you don’t feel you are at home. You have changed but the people around you have stayed the same. That feeling also drives you to seek for new adventures as fast as possible.
Usually people don’t talk about the shock of coming home. The idea is more common when you travel away and you have a culture shock there. But it is a real deal. When you have spent a longer time abroad or you have become familiar with another place that place will become like a home to you. I have personally experienced culture shock at home after working abroad for three months but also after a one week holiday when I traveled to meet my friend abroad. The key thing is how much emotionally you fancy a certain place you’ve been to and how deep to the culture and the people you’ve got into.
I wanted to share you the idea of culture shock at home because it is a real deal phenomenon. And it’s hard for the person going through it! It might be difficult to understand when a person has just come home after being away for a long time and the person looks unhappy and a bit lost.
Please try to understand.