There is a saying that goes something similar to this:
“Give me the courage to deal with the things I can change, the serenity to accept the things I can’t change and the wisdom to know the difference between those two.”
In other words, try not to go crazy or obsess about things you can’t do anything about, there is no point and you will only waste your valuable energy in them when you should have a much clearer plan defined and putting that energy into it. Next time that you go like “AAARGH!” or “I can’t do this!” ask yourself in which two of the categories it falls, and then decide if you can do something about it or you can just kick back and relax about it.
There is also that other saying that goes something like this:
“Don’t worry. If there is something you can do about it, do it, and if there is nothing to do about it, don’t do anything. But either way, do not worry. Worry is useless.”
I say whoever said that probably never had to go through Reverse Culture Shock. Or maybe he or she did and that is where that saying comes from, from a very wise RCS survivor. In any case I find it to be terrific advice and I hope you can use it and make your life easier.
Some people naturally thrive when change comes to them. They look forward to it, they feel invigorated by it. They love learning new languages, survival techniques, cooking styles and social mannerisms. However, many of these natural thrivers with fantastic adaptative skills are shocked when they go home, often the hardest environmental challenge to get adapted to. Why does this happen? This time it is not an adaptation process, it is a re-adaptation one, and all those skills that were used to expand and explore are not of that much use when they go to a land they know very well: their homeland.
At home you already know the language, the way things work there, the food, the social mannerisms…. There is less excitement and novelty and not so much to adapt to. But there is sure plenty of things to re-adapt to. Often intrepid entrepreneurs and business people who attain great goals abroad despite all odds and inconveniences find that they are not motivated to achieve the same results back home. Mothers who successfully raise children in very foreign land find it difficult to do so “at home” and students who overcome every hurdle away from home become demotivated when they return to their home countries.
“Oh no! This time we have to go HOME!!!”
People become different people while they are abroad. In many cases things are way harder to accomplish there since not so much family, friend or government support is available, so people sort of become goal oriented warriors who once “go home” can quickly become unsatisfied and frustrated. Their universe has expanded and now the idea of going back to normal feels very unappealing. They have developed and trained all those fabulous skills that now at home can’t be put to use, even so to the point that part of themselves might on some level feel sort of useless. Everything seems too different to them, and depending how far they got on their own personal life training abroad they might not be able to do that well once they are back home, where everything was supposed to be simpler and easier.
A re-adaptation process usually deals more with internal forces and circumstances than with external ones. If you are going home you need a different strategy than the one you used to adapt abroad.
If you are at this website you probably know by personal experience that Reverse Culture Shock SUCKS!! It does, a lot, actually. But hey, you have come to the right place, a supportive environment to all returnee expats that are experiencing different RCS symptoms. It doesn’t matter what your case looks like, we got resources and ideas for you to make your life easier and make you feel better.
Please email me all your concerns, questions and ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org, I want to serve you by addressing these issues and finding solutions to them, together. Feel free to check out our many videos and stories from fellow returnee expats. I hope you find this place useful in your own re-adjusting process and that it helps you put together a plan that works for you in your re-adaptation process. Don’t forget to come back often for updates and more useful resources as well as moral support from our community!