20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Re-Entry Shocker

We flew back to Toronto 10 days ago and since then it's been a whirlwind of visits with friends and family in both Canada and the USA. It's been wonderful catching up on everyone's lives and sharing what they've been doing since we left, but it's been slightly marred because we're both suffering from  reverse culture shock.

By definition reverse culture shock is feeling out of place in your own culture and it's apparently one of the biggest challenges travellers face. 

Robin Pascoe, author of Homeward Bound, writes: "Re-entry shock is when you feel like you are wearing contact lenses in the wrong eyes. Everything looks almost right." (My emphasis not his.)

While in the UK and Europe these past six months John and I have shared wonderful experiences that have changed us on so many levels. Returning home has been surprisingly more difficult that we could have imagined. We're in our own country for goodness sake. We were born here and have spent our entire lives here. And yet, so much of what was once normal now feels alien and foreign.

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz who left a black and white Kansas to return to a Technicolor landscape we're viewing things from a fresh perspective and in new light.  

We're definitely not in Kansas anymore!

* * *


  1. I've heard of people going through this when they return after a long stint in other places. I wonder what the future holds for you?

  2. Yep, we feel this every time we re-enter Canada or the U.S. especially when we come up out of Mexico. It takes us a while to adjust and even then many times it just doesn't feel like "home" anymore. This time back we really got "sticker shock" too!


    1. It's reassuring to know we're not alone, Ruth. Some friends (non-travellers) look at us as if we've two heads. Others roll their eyes!

  3. Dianne,

    I have experience reverse culture shock many times. I think it shows just how immersed you were, and how different cultures change us.
    In addition, the sensation helps you to see your home with new eyes, leading to better understanding.
    But dang, doesn't it make you want to travel more!?

    Wishing you a not-so-speedy recovery -- let the sensations last!


    1. LOL about the "not-so-speedy recovery", Josie. Re wanting to travel more - absolutely we've already checked out airfares for next fall!