Being home is a weird sensation. After 5 months of freedom and exploring South America, I’m back in South Africa for a quick stopover before heading to Australia on the next part of my journey.
Since I’ve been back, I’ve been going through a weird sensation of adjustment. Adjusting to home? Really? Yes! By far the hardest adjustment of them all. Backpacking is this magical world of freedom, happiness, open-ness (is there such a word?) and exploration. Everybody is friends, and if you don’t get along with somebody, that’s ok too, because you don’t need to hang out with them, and chances are, you will never see them again in your life. There is no drama. No girly bitchiness. No judging. Just happiness and being a free spirit (and a bit too much consuming of alcohol).
I read an article about “Reverse Culture Shock” and it’s starting to make me understand what I’m going through.
Definition of ‘Reverse Culture Shock’
The shock suffered by some people when they return home after an extended period of time overseas. This can result in unexpected difficulty in readjusting to the culture and values of the home country, now that the previously familiar has become unfamiliar.
I’m in my world at home now (although only temporarily), with bitchiness, and friendship cliques, and people with 8-5 jobs, the same parties, the same stories, the same boy drama, and right away I’m thrown back into being the person I was before I left. I’m falling into the trap of routine! What was the whole point of all the explorations if I just fall back into being the old me? I’ve been through this most magical life changing experience, I’ve seen some of the most incredible, breathtaking wonders of the world and I’ve grown personally in so many ways, yet here I am back home being the old me. I don’t like the old me. I think it has to do with not being able to relate to anybody about my new life. Nobody really wants to hear about anything I’ve done because they don’t understand. And every story I try tell is received by blank eyes. So here I am, adjusting to my old life, when all I want to do is be out in the world, growing more, expanding my horizons, and not being here, feeling trapped.
So basically, to sum things up, of course I am ecstatic about seeing my family, my dogs, and my friends. They all mean the world to me and I love them to bits, but, I have grown out of this life here. I’ve grown out of Cape Town. I never thought that would happen because it is such a glorious city.
I’m happy that my journey is not over. In two weeks time, I will be heading to Australia to go work and travel there, and maybe I will strengthen my new found values and opinions while I am there so that next time when I come home for a visit, I wont be weak enough to fall back into the “old me” mould. I will be able to see my friends, but as a stronger newer version of myself which I am currently on the way to discovering.
Australia is going to be my new home for awhile. Fresh start. Another new country to explore. So many more like-minded people to meet along the way.