Reverse Culture Shock
August 29, 2009
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When I actually stop to think about where I am, I still feel strange. I’m at home, in my bedroom–the same bedroom I had lived in for about 10 years. It doesn’t feel completely foreign to me after being away for 11 months, but at the same time I don’t feel 100% comfortable in it.
I’ve been going out a lot lately, almost everyday. I’ve been seeing friends that have missed me while I was gone. If this was like a 3-week visit back home and I was returning to Japan for school again, going out all the time wouldn’t be a problem for me. But I realize that I’m back here for months, maybe even years. Do I really need to go out every night? It’s not the same as when I was abroad…I knew I was only there for a limited time so I took many opportunities to go out. But now I’m back in Maryland, where I have lived all my life.
A webpage that I read about Reverse Culture Shock noted that someone who has been abroad may have a hard time dealing with the fact that their home country has indeed changed since they left. But not for me. From what I see, little things have changed here and there, but for the most part everything has stayed the same…and that’s what I’m struggling with. It still takes about 90 minutes to get to College Park (where my school is) on a Saturday. Cell phones and cell phone plans are still ridiculously expensive.
I’m trying to get through it by enjoying things I didn’t have in Japan. On Wednesday I had Chipotle for the first time in ages. I had also gone to Five Guys, and enjoyed my mom’s home cooking as well. But in the back of my mind, I’m still wondering when…or if I’ll be able to go back. Aren’t my friends and family good enough? I wonder how many people’s feelings I’ve hurt by saying, “I love life in Japan, I want to go back.”