The Travel Tart
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The Top 10 Signs That You’re Suffering Culture Shock After Coming Home From Travelling

Culture Shock!

Many of us who come home after travelling aboard, especially after an extended trip, tend to suffer Culture Shock when arriving back in your home country.  It’s an uneasy feeling that can hound one for days or even weeks.

I call this Culture Shock phenomenon ‘I’m Home, But Not At Home’ Syndrome.  You just don’t feel quite right!

I have suffered this syndrome as well numerous times, but I have been able to identify the symptoms of Culture Shock and try to flush the travel bug out of my system – unsuccessfully.

The Culture Shock Signs

Anyway, here are the Top 10 Signs That You’re Suffering Culture Shock After Coming Home From Travelling:

  1. You’re amazed that cars actually stop at pedestrian crossings, and such crossings are not there solely for decoration.  You are doubly amazed that no one tries to run you down when you actually do cross the pedestrian crossing.
  2. You can’t quite stop haggling with shop assistants for a ‘special price’.
  3. Sit down toilets are a real novelty.  Throwing used toilet paper into the toilet bowl is an even bigger novelty.
  4. Automatic teller machines seem magnitudes more efficient at dishing out your money, every time you request it.
  5. Not having a backpack on feels un-natural.
  6. Everyone looks like a millionaire compared to where you just arrived from.
  7. Drinking water out of a tap without contracting a malicious stomach bug seems foreign.
  8. Restaurants specialising in another country’s cuisine produce food that’s nowhere near as good as that from a street van in the country you have just visited.
  9. You start talking in your native accent again because no one understands you when you talk without one.  And finally:
  10. You want to hop on the next plane out of here.

How about you – what other symptoms of Culture Shock have you experienced when you have returned home from abroad?

Place your suggestions by leaving a comment about Culture Shock!

More Culture Shock Stuff

I might even need to consult CultureShock! Australia: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette the next time I come home from travelling!

Other dodgy Travel Tips you can take no notice of besides these Culture Shock ones – The 10 Commandments of Tight Arse and Luxury Travel, the reality of Travel Brochures, and learn about Travel Personalities.

About Anthony The Travel Tart

The Travel Tart writes about the funny, offbeat and weird aspects of world travel today. Travel wasn't meant to be taken too seriously! Check out ways to say hi below or sign up for his silly newsletter!

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  1. August 14, 2009    

    SO funny and so true, too! Especially #2 – the salespeople always look at me like I have three eyeballs when I try to talk them down in price……paying what it says on the price tag just seems so wrong somehow…. 🙂 Thanks for making my day AGAIN!
    .-= Trisha´s last blog ..Road Trip Tips to Avoid a Bumpy Journey — Part II =-.

  2. Ren Ren
    August 14, 2009    

    Haha! I definitely relate with #10. As for #1, I think it’s the opposite for me, living in the Philippines. I am constantly amazed by how people DON’T obey traffic rules and regulations in this country, compared to other countries. 😛 And as far as #5 goes, I always have a backpack with me, whether I’m traveling or not… I guess I’m just a dork that way. 😛 (That, and I need to carry lots of extra clothes for theater.)

    My personal “travel hangover” sign is being instantly more aware of random Caucasians in my own country…. haha… maybe it’s because I saw so many of them abroad, that I always stop and wonder how many there are in my own country. 😛
    .-= Ren´s last blog ..TravelTuesday Picture of the Week: NBA Hoop Dreams in Vigan =-.

  3. August 14, 2009    

    Fantastic piece. It\\\’s one of the hardest thing about the end of a long trip for me is knowing that adjusting back to \\\’reality\\\’ will be harder than anything that trip has thrown at me.



  4. August 22, 2009    

    too true – and that cars actually STAY on the roads! i also think, when i head back home, how BIG everything (and everyone) is in the US.
    .-= jessiev´s last blog ..Sleeping with the Dogs =-.

  5. August 22, 2009    

    ha! great list! i like #3
    .-= Nomadic Matt´s last blog ..The Joy of Coming Home =-.

  6. October 13, 2009    

    Very funny list. Thanks for sharing. I love number three as well.

  7. January 4, 2010    

    Its so surreal trying to reintegrate back into “normal life” after a prolonged exodus. Although you know your home, your neighbourhood, friends and family, you may not be aware of how much everything changed since you left. At the same time, in adjusting to the new culture your habits, perceptions and values might have transformed, even if you hadn’t noticed. It is sometimes difficult for your family and friends to understand the changes you have been through. They might expect you to be the same person that left a year ago, and it can be difficult for them to understand your whole experience and for you to explain some of your ventures.

  8. August 16, 2012    

    These are so true, I can relate to all of them right now! I’ve been back home for 7 weeks and I still haven’t got used to it. It’s apparently very annoying and embarrassing for my family as I constantly complain everything is too expensive and try to bargain and still run across crosswalks in fear of getting hit by a car. I’ve even simulated my own little Asia world at home constantly eating rice, drinking Chinese tea and singing along to Asian pop music with lyrics that I don’t understand.

    Thought apparently the most embarrassing thing about my at home culture shock is my Chinese stalking habit stopping random Chinese people just to talk to them! Thank goodness I’ll be out of here and back to Asia soon, it will be nice to seem like not so much of a weirdo! Haha

  9. November 7, 2012    

    What do you mean this “is the price”? Maybe you can do a little better? Totally doesn’t work in the developed world.

  10. NoviceWorldTraveler NoviceWorldTraveler
    April 21, 2014    

    When I came back home after living in the Middle East for years, I remember going to the grocery store to get produce and looking around for the scales to weigh and price them. Also, I would pull in to a gas station and wait for an attendant to come pump my gas. Then, I had to retrain myself to bus my own table at fast food restaurants.

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