Reverse Culture Shock and more

Posted: 7th June 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

So I’m in transition again – straddling two completely different and separate worlds, and feeling like I’m falling off both of them.


Have you ever felt this way during a summer vacation ‘home’ – wherever home happens to be?


You just get back from a school year of teaching or studying in another country, return home, and experience what they call reverse culture shock, where everything that used to be familiar, once upon a time, no longer feels familiar. And now you miss the country you were just in: the food, the sounds, the friends, the lifestyle.


I just got back from a year in Taiwan, and I’m back in the States, my adopted home country for now.

Everything feels weird, but I knew it would. What tears me up inside is the knowledge that in just a few weeks I will do this all over again. Why?


Perhaps it’s a question no ATCK will ever have a complete answer to. Or perhaps I am wrong. Whatever the case, it’s hurting me and don’t want to think about saying goodbye to my family yet again, and watch their sad smiles as I make the choice to leave them once again, for a year off in a foreign country by myself…why?


Do you ever become anxious that perhaps your host country will forget you? That if you leave for a summer, somehow the place you so painstakingly hollowed out for yourself in a new environment, will suddenly close up and when you return you will have to create a new hole and start almost all over again.


The hardest part is doing it alone, since no one here can fully understand what it’s like to live in Taiwan and in America simultaneously, and no one in Taiwan can understand it either. It’s tough. But I am so grateful for Tckid and for you and your stories here. They have been a lifesaver 🙂 Thanks 🙂

  1. Anonymous says:

    true…I’ve given up trying to decide which culture I should be. In Asia I’m the outright alien, in America, the hidden immigrant, and the latter is the hardest, bcuz I’m still not fully adapted to the culture in America! oh the joy of crossing cultures so many times in life!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes there needs to be one. Except I just stumbled on this, and it probably already happened.