Another travel guest post! This is awesome because I LOVE traveling but don't get the chance to do many major trips, but NOW...there will be all the travels going on now that I have Europe at my fingertips. This guest post comes from my blog-twin, Melissa.
Here is a little bit about her: Melissa is a 20-something student, writer, blogger, life-lister, book-nerd, and music junkie. She is self-diagnosed with wanderlust, hopelessly addicted to social media, and has an undying love affair with all things Harry Potter; she is not ashamed of her inner nerd in the least. Find Melissa on her blog, Twitter, Instagram, or at her second online home, CONFRONT Magazine.
Today, Melissa shares a piece from her Travel series on her blog. This one is a great list of tips to deal with reverse culture shock. It's a thing, I've felt it, it sucks. Her tips are awesome. So, here ya go...
*This is a post from an ongoing series of Travel Tips on my blog. You can read more of them right HERE. Thank you, Jessica, for letting me share some things I have learned with your readers, and best of luck as you move to Germany!*
When traveling to foreign countries, you often hear of people suffering from culture shock- the trauma you experience when you travel/move to a different country where the culture is entirely different from the one back home. But what about when you travel abroad & embrace the culture so entirely, that it’s the actual COMING HOME part that’s a shock to your system? You don’t hear about that as often, but it exists and people suffer from it every day. Reverse culture shock is a thing. I should know- I’ve suffered from it VERY badly.
Luckily I tweeted about some of my symptoms when I came home from Greece last year, and San quickly informed me that reverse culture shock was a thing and I had it. It was KIND OF too late to fix it at that point. I was depressed, nostalgic from my trip, having a lot of difficulty letting go of my time there & unable to really put any focus or attention in anything I did back home.
It took a BIG MOMENT in my life to snap me out of my traveling funk. I was beginning to feel like I’d never feel happy to be home again, but luckily my nephew decided to be born in mid-October (SIX WEEKS after I got home!) and I began to find myself back to normal.
After spending some more time traveling various countries since that first experience, I’ve become much more accustomed to coping with reverse culture shock, and if you’re finding yourself stuck in the same rut I was, here are some good tips to follow.
1. Have something to look forward to.
Plan ahead! If you know that coming home you have a ton of deadlines, work and basically NOT FUN things to do, plan something that will make it worth flying back to. You’ll still be sad to be home, but you’ll be so excited for another adventure (big or small) that the impact won’t be so bad.
2. Retail therapy WORKS.
I don’t mean that you should become a materialistic person, but splurge a little bit on yourself once you get home- something you’ve been eyeing but haven’t had the guts to put the money out for. Don’t go CRAZY, but by spending a little bit of money on YOU, you’ll cheer yourself up enormously!
3. Develop your photos ASAP.
When you get home, spend some time going through your pictures and have them developed to put in a photo album. It’ll give you a little extra time to reminisce with your pictures and sort them out one last time before you close that chapter of your life and move onto something else.
4. Talk about it with friends and family.
I found myself shutting down a lot when I was sad, because I didn’t think my feelings were valid. I thought I was being dumb, and consequently made it worse by forcing myself to be alone with negative thoughts. TALK ABOUT your trip with the people who matter, share your pictures, and let them know if you’re not feeling your best!
Honestly though, the absolute best thing you can do to cure the sad-home-feelings is to plan your next adventure. I’ve learned that the only way I’ll be happy is if I’m constantly researching where in the world I’ll be next. It may not be for a few years, but if I can make myself a promise to go somewhere when I’ve got the money, I’ll be able to spend all my sad moments planning another fun getaway.