Next Steps: Easing into Re-Entry
[singlepic=1710,250,,,right]Lisa Lubin of LL World Tour shared with us her experiences dealing with Reverse Culture Shock after her around the world travels. Here are some tips she found helpful to ease back into the re-entry process.
THINGS TO AVOID:
- Getting sucked in to watching too much TV. For about 3 years I barely watched TV. I did not miss it at all. It can be enjoyable at times, but there are so many better things we can be doing.
- Feeling the ‘need’ to follow too much media about senseless issues (ie Jon & Kate? Who are these people and why do I care?). Being aware of world events and news is good; surmising if Jennifer and Brad will ever get back together is ridiculous.
- Eating too much – We eat so much more in this country than we need to AND so much of that is barely real food. Strive to continue to eat as fresh and local as when you were traveling.
- I went for years without a cell phone. I still sometimes forget mine at home now and ONLY have a prepaid phone – no bill, no contracts, just pay-as-you-go and I like it. I don’t NEED to chat endlessly on the phone just because everyone around me is. I don’t want or need to be reachable 24/7.
THINGS TO DO:
- Stay in touch with new friends from travels. With email and Facebook this is so easy and fun.
- Keep the ‘learning’ going…if you loved salsa dancing in Latin America – find a salsa class at home. Miss the tasty spring rolls in Vietnam? Seek out a cooking class. Have an international dinner party. Organize a monthly outing to a different ethnic restaurant. If you miss the challenge of chatting with locals in another language…take a language class. Go to museums, check local magazines and newspapers for other cultural meeting and groups.
- Meet new friends back home. In larger cities there are expat groups or other travel groups (meetup.com and Couchsurfing.com) with which you can get together for a drink or coffee with like-minded people.
- Couchsurfing – Sign up to be a host. You can meet and show others from abroad around your town. Return the favor for the hospitality you received while traveling.
- Volunteer with travelers/tourists: Contact your local tourism department to see what’s going on. Free services like Chicago Greeter and Big Apple Greeter are always looking for volunteers to give visitors a taste of your city from a local’s perspective.
- Volunteer at your local Youth Hostel.
- Let yourself feel sad or different. It’s okay. Time will ease the sadness, but you don’t want to forget.
- Reminisce – look at your photos, think about your trip, organize your blog and your photos.
- Share – You’ve learned so much while traveling. Hold on to this. Share it with others. Maybe your experiences will teach and/or inspire others to get out and see the world…or, maybe not to travel, but just to be more aware of the world around them.
- FINAL POINT: start planning you next trip!