Reverse Culture Shock: You Can't Go Home Again

The Old Family Farm Where I Grew Up

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Returning to the United States

In May of 2016, I will be returning to the United States to visit my sisters and brother. It has been almost two years since I was last back in the States. Thailand has now been my home since retirement in 2007. Things will be different this time because no one has lived in the old farmhouse where I grew up since ma's death. Actually, I will be spending most of my one week planned trip with my second oldest sister. Pat who is also a vet runs a dairy farm with my brother-in-law in northeastern Wisconsin. Her farm is quite a distance from my boyhood home. There will definitely be reverse culture shock seeing the breakup of the family farm and other recent changes in U.S. society. Reentry shock will also manifest itself in ten anticipated ways which I will describe in this hub.

What Is Reverse Culture Shock?

Reverse culture shock or reentry shock which is similar to culture shock is the situation of returning to your home environment, and then having to make adjustments to get used to your surroundings again. I feel that it is more painful than culture shock. When I returned to the U.S. on a trip about five years ago, I remember an airline steward on my United flight out of Narita in Japan enthusiastically greeting all boarding passengers with a "welcome home" as I got on the plane. I could not share his happiness, because I really didn't want to go back to the States. I knew that I would experience rootlessness, restlessness, reverse homesickness, and feelings of alienation in the U.S. because everything that I now wanted in life was in Thailand. Nothing really awaited me in America and Wisconsin except a brother and three younger sisters who haven't really been that close to me in many, many years.

An S7 Airlines Boeing 767-300ER Landing

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Flooding During the Rainy Season in Thailand

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Drought in Australia

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Aerial View of Bangkok

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A Rural Area in Southern Australia

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Thai Seafood Cuisine

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A Sirloin Steak American Meal

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Sign Reminding Motorists to Keep to the Left When Driving in Thailand

Sign at the Laos-Thai Border Reminding Motorists to Change from Driving on the Right in Laos to Driving on the Left When Entering Thailand.
Sign at the Laos-Thai Border Reminding Motorists to Change from Driving on the Right in Laos to Driving on the Left When Entering Thailand. | Source

Motorized Pedicabs or Tuk-Tuks Used for Transportation in Thailand

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A Toilet Hose Used in Thailand

After a bowel movement, use the toilet hose or bum gun to shot a pressurized stream of water up your anus for cleaning.
After a bowel movement, use the toilet hose or bum gun to shot a pressurized stream of water up your anus for cleaning. | Source

Ten Manifestations of Reverse Culture Shock

Aside from the reverse culture shock of seeing the old farm broken up, I anticipate experiencing the ten following types of culture shock which most people encounter.

1. Time Change

Wisconsin, my travel destination, and Bangkok are on the opposite sides of the globe. They are separated by 12 time zones. When it is 6:00 A.M. in Bangkok the day I depart, it will be 6:00 P.M.. the previous day in Wisconsin. Hence, after 22 hours of flights and layovers when I arrive at Green Bay Airport, it will be 4:00 A.M. on the following day in Bangkok, but only 4:00 P.M. on the same day in Wisconsin. After arriving in Wisconsin, my internal body clock will feel like it is 4:00 A.M. Bangkok time and I will be a walking zombie.This situation is widely referred to as jet lag. In the past, it has taken me two to three days to reorient to the time change.

2. Changes in Weather

When I depart Bangkok in October, Thailand will still be in the last few weeks of the rainy season. The weather will still be very humid with high temperatures in the low 90s. Being in a temperate climate, the fall season will have already started in Wisconsin. Possibly experiencing a drought this summer, the weather in Wisconsin will be a lot drier and cooler with temperatures in the 60s during the day and possibly dropping into the high 30s at night.

3. Clothing Change

In anticipation of the climate change, I will be wearing a jacket after I arrive in Wisconsin. It will seem strange wearing a sweater, jacket, and shoes after being accustomed to short-sleeve shirts, shorts, and sandals to move about in Bangkok.

4. Density of Population

It will really seem strange not seeing so many people packed into one geographical area. The Bangkok metropolitan area where I live has 10-15 million people. My sister, on the other hand, lives on a farm about five miles from a small city having a population of 40,000 at the most.

5. Different Food

In the Bangkok area, you can purchase almost any kind of food from numerous small restaurants and street-side stalls. A lot of the food includes seafood dishes with an abundance of shrimp, oysters, squid, clams, octopus, and various kinds of fish. The main staple is rice with a lot of fresh vegetables, few potatoes, and very little bread served at meals. Cooked meat is already cut into small pieces so that Thais only use a spoon and fork when eating. When I get back to Wisconsin, I must get used to eating again with a knife, and having potatoes and bread again instead of rice.

6. Driving on the Right Side of the Road

After arriving at Green Bay Airport, I will be renting a car to travel to my sister's farm which is about 40 miles southeast of the airport. In the U.S., people drive on the right side of the road as opposed to the left side of the road in Thailand. Besides remembering to stay on the right side of the road, I will have to reacquaint myself with a left side steering wheel as opposed to the right side steering wheel used in Thailand.

7. Less Public Transportation

Unless you live in a remote mountainous area of Thailand, there is an abundance of public transportation. It includes motorcycle taxis, motorized pedicabs, trucks converted into buses, taxis, trains, buses, and planes. Furthermore, if you live in or close to a city, a private motorcycle or car isn't really needed. In the United States, especially outside of the inner city, a car is a necessity. If you don't have a car, it's like not having two legs. In reality, there is much less affordable public transportation in the U.S. than in Thailand.

8. Different Monetary Currencies

Before departing Suvarnabhumi Airport outside of Bangkok, I must convert all of my Thai baht to U.S. dollars. The baht is weaker now at an exchange range of more than 36 baht for one U.S. dollar, so I will get less dollars for the baht that I exchange.

9. Toilet Facilities

Using the toilet is a different experience in Thailand from that in the United States. Almost all Thailand homes, schools, hotels, and public establishments have toilet hoses or bum guns installed next to all commodes. It isn't necessary to use toilet paper, because the high pressurized water which you use to clean your anus is much more convenient and more sanitary than using any kind of toilet paper. I don't look forward having to use toilet paper again in the States.

10. Having to Do Physical Labor Again

Since retiring in Taiwan, I have done very little physical labor with the exception of working in my mother-in-law's garden. This will all change when I arrive at Pat's farm and assist her with some barn chores.

You can't go home again, and for this reason I am definitely expecting reverse culture shock during my upcoming trip later this year. It will be nice seeing my brother, sisters, and all of their families again. At the same time, I will be counting the days and hours until I leave to return to my present life and loved ones in Thailand.



Reverse Culture Shock

Cast your vote for Reverse Culture Shock

Reverse Culture Shock Outside of Your Native Country

On a recent trip to Taiwan I also experienced reverse culture shock. On a trip to Taiwan in 2005, I was astonished at how much Taiwan had changed in only 15 years. Many of the places that I knew so well in 1990 were gone and replaced with something entirely alien to me. The people were also different from the ones that I had know in the past. This was more reinforced on my most recent trip to Taiwan in November of 2014.

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Comments 65 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

That will indeed by a culture shock. Very interesting hub; best of luck to you while you are here in the States. Stay safe my friend and best wishes.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago

Fabulous Hub. A subject that I will now endeavor. Thank you for sharing such wonderful insight. Hope your trip goes well. Voted up for interesting and useful.


Dancing Water profile image

Dancing Water 4 years ago

For me after having lived in Thailand for 20 years, the reverse culture shock occurred more because of many Americans' attitudes: curt, abrupt, superficially friendly. If I don't put on the armor of not taking things personally, it still bugs me. The graciousness and softness of the Thai people shall always be missed. I truly want to hear about your U.S. sojourn after you return home to Thailand! Thank you for an interesting hug!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

billybuc,

Thanks for reading this hub and your encouraging comments.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

mecheshier,

Thanks for stopping by and your encouraging comments. Hopefully, I will soon have a hub about my experiences on the trip.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Dancing Water,

Thank you very much for reading this hub and your insightful comments. Within the next month or two, I hope to have a hub about my upcoming trip.


Christine Miranda profile image

Christine Miranda 4 years ago from My office.

I'm sorry but I have to ask about #9. Do they keep a box of elbow high surgical gloves next to the hose? I can't even imagine wanting to touch that thing especially in a public toilet. :-o


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Christine,

Thank you very much for reading this hub and your comments. You have a point, and no there aren't any surgical gloves next to the hose. If you have been to Japan, The Japanese have a mist of water which automatically cleans your private parts and then dries them while you are listening to music. It's much more expensive than the toilet hose, however.


freecampingaussie profile image

freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

I really enjoyed your hub. We have moved a lot - diferent countries , now traveling around Australia - mainly live in a sarong in this heat . We hope to travel to Europe etc next year so will be having to get used to wearing more clothes lol! Going back is very dificult after so many new experiences .


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Paul...You have just presented me with a concept I've not ever given much thought to. You've helped me to understand the existence of your description of "coming home." For in your case, you are really leaving home to go back to a place so distant to you now. HOME is where we have made our life and where our heart and happiness is. Thank you. ...UP+++


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

freecampingaussie,

Thank you very much for reading and your great comments. Good luck in your future travel around Australia and Europe. I'm sure you will enjoy it and learn a lot.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Paula,

Thank you for reading this hub and your very insightful comments. Yes, home is where our heart and happiness is. I'll be sharing with everyone my experiences on the upcoming trip.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Paul-this is a well written hub filled with memories and important information about the very real 'reverse cultural shock'. I have experienced this in milder ways, so I do understand and can relate. There is something about the Midwest and the 'homebodies' that seems so 'solid' for those, like you...like myself, who have managed to escape into the larger world and become very comfortable with the consequences of those expanded boundaries. We really cannot go home again...it no longer fits.

It can be sad to see the old homestead, or in your case, family farm, that served as a foundation for you and your first experiences be dissolved piece by piece. It is never the same. And, I'm sure there are looser ties with family members who have remained in one place while you broadened your horizons. But, keep in mind that you are on a mission to take care of business before returning to the land that you have come to love.

Best to you on this October trip, my friend. I'll keep you in my thoughts. Rated up/I/U Beautiful photos by the way.


divacratus profile image

divacratus 4 years ago from India

This was very interesting! I guess over time you tend to get used to certain places more than others because it caters to your needs more.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Denise,

Thank you very much for stopping by and your great insightful comments. Thank you also for your best wishes and thoughts of me as I prepare to make this trip. I really appreciate it.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

divacratus,

Thank you very much for reading and your thoughtful comments.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Very interesting. The toilet thing was a shock to me. I also would not want to touch a public hose. I wouldn't mind the Japanese toilet. I have always thought we needed more in our bathrooms than just toilet paper.

So sad that you are coming home for this reason. Welcome home to Wisconsin I hope your trip is safe. Be sure to bring a good coat it is cold here. Enjoyed your hub. Voted uP!


cfin profile image

cfin 4 years ago from The World we live in

I have gone the opposite way.,I moved to Wisconsin, and boy.... was the old fashioned standard of living a shocker..... It's wonderful here though and just take it one day at a time. I also get the same anxiety when returning home for a visit.


europewalker profile image

europewalker 4 years ago

Very interesting and unique hub. Thanks for sharing.


Nettlemere profile image

Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

Bum guns are probably indelibly burnt into my brain now. I can see the advantages, but assume towel drying is needed after application or is there a hot air bum dryer too?

Good luck with your trip back and thank you for the interesting hub.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

moonlake,

Thanks for stopping by this hub and your great comments. It will be a change coming from a hot and humid climate to a typical crisp Wisconsin fall. I will definitely bring a good coat or jacket along.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

cfin,

Thanks for reading this hub and your interesting comments. Where are you living in Wisconsin?. I grew up in the southeastern part of the state, and will be spending most of my time with one of my sisters who is on a farm outside of Manitowoc.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

europewalker,

Thanks for reading and your great comments.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Nettlemere,

Thanks for stopping by and your insightful comments. I am not aware of any hot air bum dryers in Thailand.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Getting back can be a SHOCK!! I remember arriving at in London! I actually had to sit down for a few minutes and take it all in. The diversity in fashion and people, combined with the busyness was a shock, especially after being in a small rural town of Thailand where there weren't many other 'foreigners' (just myself and about 4 people in the 3 nearby cities). In fact, everyone felt 'big' lol, as most Thais are quite petite.

I actually ended up enjoying the visit, but was also shocked by the language and violence there now ... something I hadn't seen for a while. Plus I had to get used to people speaking at the speed of light, as they had no time to relax and chat lol.

Returning would be a big transition, more than leaving to travel I think.

Shared, up and interesting.


Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

I've never been to Thailand, so the information was interesting. I can relate to the "reverse culture shock" idea as when I returned home to England after spending five years of my teens in the U.S., I suddenly saw my own country through American eyes, just as you see the U.S. through Thai eyes, and that experience can surprise you. On the surface of it, a childhood on a farm in Winsconsin looks far preferable to one in the crowded cities of a Far-Eastern country, and I felt a bit sad that your view of the U.S. seemed all negative. Surely the U.S. must have SOME advantages over Thailand? :)


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 4 years ago from Brazil

Firstly thank you Brett for sharing this.

Hello Paul,

I think part of the reason there will be a culture shock is because you are so content in Thailand.

I had the same feeling when I went to visit my family in California. I lived in England for 20+ years and am now in Brazil.

It isn't just the things that are different, we have changed. I have definitely become more frugal and when I saw the wanton spending on useless items, I was taken aback.

With regard to food, everything tasted too salty and over processed. I had become accustom to real whipped cream, not Cool Whip. I liked cream in my coffee, not a flavored vegetable by-product called Coffee Mate. My family were raving over the latest flavor.

With regards to Mazzy Bolero's comment. No everything is not negative about the US. No matter how long it has been since I left the USA, I consider myself American, and love the fact that I grew up in a country where I truly believed, and still do, that anything is within my grasp. I love the can do attitude that the country was built on. That is lacking in many other countries.


Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Hi, Blond logic. I just want to say that I agree with you. The feeling in the U.S. that you can achieve anything with hard work - although it may be harder these days - opens up possibilities in your mind. The fact is that when I worked hard in the U.S. my abilities and work got recognized and rewarded and I wasn't valued purely on the basis of my accent, social background or connections. That does exist in the U.S. but nowhere near as much as in Britain.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

That certainly is a big culture shock - since you are switching cultures, time, weather, even density of the location. I wish you the best. Enjoy your time with the family!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Hi Brett! Thanks for reading and the comments. I arrived back in Wisconsin a day ago, and the first shock was seeing how much things have inreased in price. I couldn't buy a newspaper for less than $0.75, and it was a very thin 15 page one. Food has almost doubled, too. Went from hot and humid weather to English weather today, with highs around 50 and a dreary rain all day. Thanks for sharing.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thanks for reading and your comments. My views of the U.S. are not completely negative now. It's just that I have seen social changes which have made America seem much different from my youth. .There isn't as much respect for elders as in the past, and so many people are expecting a handout from Uncle Sam instead of trying to get something through hard work. Don't get me wrong. The U.S. is a great place, and can be a heaven for young people. But, if you haven't planned and invested wisely, it can really be a hell for elderly people.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Blond Logic,

Thank you very much for reading and your insightful comments based on your experiences. Yes, I am very content in Thailand - much more content than if I was living in the States. You are so correct when you say anything can be within your grasp when you are young if you get an education, work hard, and are willing to take rislks.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Mazzy,

Thank you very much for your great, insightful comments.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Millionaire Tips,

Thanks for reading and yuour comments. Yes, I am really enjoying the time with my sister, the farm, and seeing her vet practice. I feel young again doing this.


Wesley Meacham profile image

Wesley Meacham 4 years ago from Wuhan, China

Paul, this is an interesting view of reverse culture shock. I've a friend who recently went home to England during the summer. The strangest thing that he found was talking to friends that he hasn't seen for four years. He found this odd because each of them, in his words, were still doing just the same kinds of things that they'd been doing four years before. It was like looking into a past that he was no longer a part of because he had grown and they hadn't. He found that the only people he wanted to talk to were other people he'd known who'd lived in China as he had.

This is an interesting subject to me because I know that at some point I'm going to have to go through the same thing. People keep asking me if I feel homesick and I really don't. The thought of going home actually seems a little daunting. But I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Voting up and sharing.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Paul, I was thinking of you this month and wanted to email you to send 'good vibes' your way, but never did get to that. Are you back in Thailand now, or still in Cheese Country? Take care and I hope you give us a report in another hub. :)


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Wesley, thanks for reading, sharing, and your insightful comments. The reverse cuture shock wasn't quite as bad this time, because I was staying in a rural area with my sister and brother-in-law and doing things which I grew up doing on my parents' farm. It was like "Back to the future."


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Denise,

Thanks for reading, your good vibes, and your comments. I have been back in Thailand for about a week and recently wrote a hub about my dairy farming experience during the trip. Part 2 will be coming out this weekend.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma

Anytime we move from one area to another that is very different we experience a bit of anxiety. Even here in America when people move from one region to another there is an adjustment period.

I live in Oklahoma and people that move here from New York or California find the culture quite different.

Food, manner of speech, transportation as well as behavior is different.

I would love to visit Thailand someday. It sounds like a beautiful country.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Pamela,

Thanks for stopping by and your very insightful comments I really appreciate them. You are very welcome to visit amazing Thailand. The best time to come with be the dry cooler season which is in December and January.


Louisa Rogers profile image

Louisa Rogers 3 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

Hi Paul,

The subject of re-entry is endlessly fascinating. I straddle two countries-- Mexico and Northern California, USA, and go back and forth 2-3 times a year. My re-entry is more gentle than yours because, by choice, my lifestyle is not THAT different in either country; for example, I have no car in Mexico but drive as little as possible in the U.S. I think the bigger issues in re-entry are psychological/ social custom. I think one of the biggest differences is that Mexicans, despite less education, are very internationally aware, whereas in my experience many Americans are very insulated and have very little interest in their global neighbors, or beyond.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Louisa,

Thanks once again for stopping by and your very insightful comments. Yes, it's true that most Americans are very provincial with not that much interest in their global neighbors. If I hadn't served with the U.S. Navy overseas when I was younger, I would probably today be less aware of international affairs, especially those in East and Southeast Asia.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

This is an interesting hub.. I have not really thought about how weird it would be to come back to the US after making another country my home. I can definitely see why it would be hard for you..just having to get adjusted to the time difference would probably put me into a depression. You wrote this a few months ago so you are probably back.. I hope you had a nice visit with your family and I can imagine that you were very glad to be back home! Great hub.. voted up, useful, interesting :)


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Jamie,

Thanks for reading my hub and your insightful comments. I was only in Wisconsin for about a week and spent all of my time on my sister's farm. There was so much to do there that I didn't have time to venture into Milwaukee. That would have been more of a reverse culture shock. As it was, the only real shock was with the weather!


dwachira profile image

dwachira 3 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Hi Paul,

Now i know where will be my next holiday destination, Thailand! and that is if Hubpages makes a paycheck of at least $1000 for the next five months or so...lol i will keep on waiting. I must say i will be very comfortable in Thailand and i will not experience any culture shock, i find the toilet facilities a bit awkward though but i think i will be ok. Voted up and interesting.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Hi Dwachira,

Thanks for reading this hub and sharing it. You are more than welcome to come to Thailand. Depending on whether you like the mountains or the beaches, there are so many things I can suggest for you to do.


Katiadejuan profile image

Katiadejuan 3 years ago from London, UK

Hi Paul,

Great hub!

I have also feel this. Last year I was travelling with my couple during a year around Europe , and I know that a year far from home is not to much, but after a year living a so different life, when I came back to home I felt as if I was an estranger in my own home. I wasn't comfortable at all with some costumes and culture aspects I had in mind as normal and nice before the travel. I was happy to see my family and friends again but I don't know why but I felt I was different, I had changed, and now I can't wait to find the way to begin a new travel and feel as free and happy as I feel last time.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Katia,

Thanks for reading my hub and your great insightful comments. I really appreciate them.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Paul, how time and place change one's preferences. Very interesting read.

Voted up and interesting and shared.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Paul, I did not know that there is called reverse culture shock. I have experienced culture shock the first time I left home and arrived in Germany with my German husband. I did not think that the feelings I had after arriving home to the Philippines (after many years in Germany) was a reverse culture shock. It took a lot of adjustment for me although I stayed only for a month.

Now, as my hubby and I are spending our "retirement" time every year in my home country for at least 6 months for me, I keep on adjusting myself wether I´m in the Philippines or in Germany. 2 different countries with different culture and traditions. The thing is, Germany has become my 2nd home . I´m always glad to be back in Germany as I feel more relax there than here. We are spending our winter in my home country now.

Thanks for sharing your life experiences with us. Have a great weekend!


seanorjohn profile image

seanorjohn 3 years ago

Never heard of reverse culture shock but you explain it well. Did you fall in love with Thailand instantly or did you suffer for some time with culture shock? Hope your return visit went well.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Rajan,

Thanks for stopping by and I really appreciate your comments and sharing of this hub.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thelma,

Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your story and comments. I think the reverse culture shock wouldn't be so bad if my parents were still living.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

seanorjohn,

Thanks for reading this hub. Yes, I did fall in love with Thailand instantly and never really experienced culture shock, My return visit was very nice and I spent almost all of my one week stay at my sister's farm. I've written two hubs about that.


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I don't know how I have gone all of this time without checking out your selection of articles. Your life story is incredibly interesting, and I have seen many fascinating articles by you.

As for this one, it is something I had never thought of. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to get used to so many things again, after having lived in Thailand for so long. I have a friend who has worked in China for months at a time for years, with returns to the state every so often. He finally moved over there full time, and married a Chinese woman. When he comes back here, he must experience much of the same shock as you did.

Thank you for sharing this with us. Voted up. Very interesting.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Kathryn,

Thank you very much for complimenting my articles. If I had to go back to the States and mainstream with society in the city without the support of relatives and friends, I would be very unhappy and challenged at this point in my life. Life in the U.S. has changed so much since when I was a kid and young man, and I really don't care for a lot of the new culture. Thanks for voting up this hub and I'm glad you found it interesting.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

The closest thing I know that is even vaguely similar to what you describe here is when I lived in the Boston area for 3 years. At the end I had a calendar on the wall where I X'ed out the days as it got closer to when I would be able to leave and come back to Texas -- what had become home before moving to Boston.

In truth, I've never felt like I am home since leaving Wisconsin and I wonder if even that would seem like home if I were to go back there after being gone for more than 20 years. My last visit was 16 years ago.

Very interesting and educational hub and something to think about. Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome. Will share with my followers.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Au fait,

Based on your living experiences, I really appreciate your insightful comments on this hub. I'm happy you liked this hub and thank you for sharing it with your followers.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Very interesting, Paul. I have traveled very little and lived in the mid-west most of my life. However, I seem to dislike going back to my home city of Minneapolis because i dislike the traffic and such since+ the advent of the inter-state highways. However my family is mostly there. My wife would go back to the Twin Cities in a minute, if we could afford it.voted up and interesting. sharing.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada

Very interesting hub! I have heard of this phenomenon with missionaries who go on assignment for several years, and come back on furlough to raise money for more years. I wonder if it would be just as bad, in a different way, even if you were not content in your new country, because you would expect so much for the home country, but things would always be different than when you left.

I wish you all the best in your stay back in the U.S.A.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Don,

Thank you very much for your comments and insight on this hub. I could never go back to Wisconsin and live because I have no friends there, and I have been away from Wisconsin culture for such a long time. I appreciate your votes and sharing of this hub.


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Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

prairieprincess,

Thanks for your interest and reading of this hub. I was in rural Wisconsin with one of my sisters on a farm for one week in October of 2012. Things don't change that much in rural areas, so the culture shock wasn't bad at all. I didn't, however, get into any big cities. I'll probably go back to Wisconsin again later this year for a short trip. I appreciate your good wishes.


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SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

Thanks for this very personal and interesting reflection. I had heard of reverse culture shock from friends who were anthropologists returning from tribal living (after fieldwork). But I had never thought of it in reference to our own lives. And yet I have felt it, too. Returning to Philadelphia is particularly poignant for me, since, since my mother died, there is nobody there that I know.


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Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

SidKemp,

Thanks for reading this hub. I appreciate your insight comments based on your personal experience.


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CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this. I too grew up on a farm, a family homestead. I live in Connecticut, but we have a few exceptional Thai Restaurants that I don't get to enjoy often enough.

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