Much is spoken about culture shock – but not too much mentioned about its partner in crime Reverse Culture Shock We expect when we go somewhere new, to experience feelings of being unsettled, or of not knowing where we are, that’s understandable. Our psychological observations take in a different location, smells, accents, maybe even colour of skin – many elements and although we do not necessarily like the uncomfortable feeling it sometimes provides us with, we get it, we are travelling.
But on returning – does anyone expect to feel like they do not fit in within their own culture, hometown and people – something has inexplicably changed within and it is as if you are viewing the world you lived in before, with new eyes.
On my return to the UK I went to Lakeside – the shopping Mecca of Essex. I’d been back in the UK a month, had been travelling before, so thought I had been adjusting ok this time, I even began feeling a little blasé about it.
Arriving around lunchtime – possibly the busiest time of day, I entered the twilight world that is the Shopping Complex.
Consumerism. Although a word already in my vocabulary, it previously resided without any real understanding and never in the forefront of my mind. Now here it stood, staring at me front and centre, as I watched the general public rove the shopping levels.
Feeling unsettled – realising that another change had happened within since leaving GB, no longer did I feel a connection to need, ‘have,’ ‘own,’ or ‘possess’ things, other than what is necessary for my life. What is it about western living that brings into being the need and desire for stuff.
What have you become aware of after travel?