8.22.2013

Ashley's Steps for Getting Over Reverse Culture Shock



Oh, I'm going through it. London is in the rear view mirror, and instead of staring at it longingly like a lost little puppy, I know it's time to move forward. Admittedly, I am someone that has a hard time of letting go. And so, I thought I would write a series on returning home after living abroad. In hopes of helping others dealing with the return, as well as helping myself! Onto step number 1...


1. Talk to Other Ex-Expats

This tip has probably helped me the most. There's something really comforting in having a comrade; they are a fellow soldier waging the battle. 

Take my friend Theresa, who lived in Japan for 3 years before returning to the States. I'm pretty sure I've hit her up for advice (too) many times since getting back. I specifically seek Theresa out for an afternoon beer sesh, because she doesn't get mad at me for complaining about missing the expat life for the 900,562 time! I always fear that I'm talking my San Diego friends ears off when yammering about London. Theresa doesn't mind her ears being talked off. She understands. 

Furthermore, there's something really cathartic in talking it out with someone who's been there and lived your frustrations and sadness. Human connection and all that jazz. I suppose this tip sounds obvious, but it's extremely important to seek out those people who have lived abroad. Chances are they've experienced the same depths of sadness you're feeling right now. And they offer better advice than anyone else can offer. They even excuse your moodiness. 

Hmmm, maybe I can start a support group of ex-expats (with beer, there should always be beer).

9 comments:

  1. Anytime my dear! I know it's really hard. But trust me, it will be relieved with time :)

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  2. Good advice. Oh to have lived in London...

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  3. Unless it's AA, beer = good thing to have at support groups.

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  4. i think i'm gonna die coming back to the US :(

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    1. Maybe you'll never come back...or just move to a city that's european flavored :)

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  5. Amen to this. It seems like most people are like yeah, you miss it, but don't understand that I MISS IT. You gotta have someone to commiserate with.

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  6. If you have the group I'd love to join! Tomorrow I'll be back for a month from a year abroad. Feeling all kinds of things so any advice you've got to combat this reverse culture shock, please do tell. :) I don't have any friends in San Diego who have lived abroad. :/

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    Replies
    1. Are you going back to the new country after a month? If that's the case, I think you'll be able to enjoy your time back in SD.

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