After Remote Year: Staying Connected and Navigating Reverse Culture Shock

12. Nov. 2021

Woman with a dog

Congratulations, you’ve officially completed a Remote Year program! You’ve had the adventure of a lifetime and now it’s time to return home. Strangers you met on Day 1 of your program are now people you consider family. Far-off cities you used to dream of visiting are now as familiar to you as the back of your hand. The home you’re returning to may feel familiar, and perhaps you’ve found that what’s changed - is you.

As you transition back to daily life after a Remote Year journey, you might find yourself experiencing reverse culture shock. With years of experience delivering transformative travel experiences, we are happy to share our best tips for readjusting back to daily life and staying connected to Remote Year long after your journey has ended.

What Is Reverse Culture Shock? 

Reverse culture shock is the feeling of being disoriented and confused when you return home after being away for a long time. Some people describe it as feeling like a foreigner in their own country. 

This is completely normal - you’ve just gone through a transformative experience, and you’re probably not the same person you were when you left. Now that you’re back home, it will take some time to adjust.

Reverse Culture Shock Symptoms

Here are some signs that you may be experiencing reverse culture shock:

  • You feel bored or restless

  • You’re feeling homesick, but this time for the place you left

  • You can’t explain your travel experiences properly

  • Your relationships have changed

  • You feel isolated and misunderstood

  • Your views on your own country have changed

  • You feel like you can’t use the new skills you picked up while living abroad

4 Stages of Reverse Culture Shock

The good news is, reverse culture shock doesn’t last forever. In fact, there are four stages of reverse culture shock that you may experience:

Stage 1: Disengagement Process

You feel disengaged from your current country and are starting to shift your focus on returning home.

Stage 2: The Honeymoon Phase

You start feeling excited about returning home and seeing your old friends and family.

Stage 3: Disillusionment Crash

You return home and suddenly feel uncomfortable. The idea of home isn’t holding up to reality.

Stage 4: Readjustment and Finding a New Normal

After getting over the initial shock, you start adjusting to your home culture again. Only this time, you have a set of transformative experiences and lifelong memories that no one can take away from you. 

How to Deal with Reverse Culture Shock After Your Remote Year Journey

As you readjust to daily life after Remote Year, ease the discomfort of returning home with some of our best tips for combating culture shock and staying connected to the Remote Year community:

Cooking empanadas | Wandering around the park

Cooking empanadas | Wandering around the park

Celebrate and share local cultures and traditions

Deeply connecting with local cultures and traditions is an integral part of the Remote Year experience. Stay connected to those experiences by celebrating and sharing them with your loved ones at home! 

Did you enjoy eating arepas before heading to your coworking space in Antigua? Try making them at home and sharing the results with your friends and family. Did you love taking siestas after finishing a long day of work in Valencia? Create your own version of siestas at home and block out time for yourself every day. 

Incorporate your favorite Remote Year experiences into your daily routine

You’re back home now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate your Remote Year experiences into your daily routine.. 

If you enjoyed walking everywhere while you were abroad, try creating a daily walking routine through a park or around your neighborhood. If there was a special type of coffee that you loved during your time abroad, buy those coffee beans and brew them yourself at home. 

Including your favorite parts of your Remote Year experience into your daily routine will help make your transition easier. 

Explore your own country with fresh eyes

If you feel like a foreigner in your home country, why not play tourist for a bit and explore your country? You have fresh eyes and a new point of view to bring to the table. Use this time to check out popular nearby attractions you haven’t yet explored.

Try a new restaurant, visit a famous landmark, or check out a new part of town - there are plenty of ways to keep the traveler spirit alive, even when back home.

Holding boxes

Holding boxes

Get involved in a positive impact project in your community

During your time on Remote Year, you had the opportunity to participate in positive impact projects to help communities around the globe. That doesn’t have to stop once you return home! Now is the time to make a positive impact on your own community. 

You can bring that positive impact back home by seeking out volunteer opportunities in your area. Whether you’re helping out at a food pantry or planting a neighborhood garden, there are plenty of ways that you can give back.

Stay connected to the Remote Year Nation

The number one thing that will help you get through this time is staying connected to the Remote Year community. Whether you keep in touch with friends from your program or begin to reach out to other members of the Remote Nation, there is no one better to relate to than those who have gone through the same experience! You have our whole community by your side, ready to cheer you on.  

Here are just a few of the ways you can stay connected as a Remote Year Citizen after completing 4 months or more of Remote Year programming: 

  • Global Access: When you’re ready for your next adventure, get back on the road and enjoy the full Remote Year platform at a discounted rate when you visit any of our cities.  

  • Access to Nation Slack: You’ll always be a part of the Remote Year family! Stay connected by networking and chatting with your fellow remote professionals online via the Nation Slack channel.

  • Citizen Houses: As a Citizen, you get exclusive access to opportunities to connect with fellow Citizens in exciting one-off destinations. Think surf houses in Costa Rica or ski houses in Eastern Europe – it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.

  • Meetups & Events: Wherever you are in the world, you’re bound to find other Citizens there too! We organize meetups and events for the Remote Nation all over the world so that you can find your community anywhere you go.

Group staring at a view

Group staring at a view

Plan Your Next Adventure

You may be back home now, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay put forever! When you are ready to embark on your next adventure, we would love for you to join us. If you have a friend who loves traveling, why not encourage them to come along? Whether you’re itching to surf in Bali, sip real Colombian coffee, or explore ancient pyramids in Mexico City, Remote Year has the perfect program for you. Start planning your next Remote Year adventure here!

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