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My bloody Reverse Culture Shock!

I go straight off to my reverse culture shock because it marks the beginning of a new phase in my life back home. Hence, to start a blog that reflects my journey, this topic, though sounds a bit daunting, is a good match.

When I was about to leave the US, I had butterflies in my stomach. I imagined how the new environment would be like, and the worst scenario would be I suffer from a hunger for English. Not many festivals, naked parades to write about. No more int’l friends who taught me their country’s official languages. No more fast food and coupons I sometimes leaned on. No more exploitation. No more misery. No more weed & drinking. Not the same happiness.

There would be my priceless family and something else different + beautiful, but wait, this stage hasn’t come yet. I knew it would come, but my mind naturally was in the state of denial.

I looked for opportunities to be in another place right after San Francisco. It was Manila where I got an internship and wrote about Persons with Special Needs. My outlook on life has, once again, changed dramatically there. During my stay in Manila, I asked myself “where next?” and in 2016, I’ve taken over 20 different flights in total.

Over a course of a few days being flushed with happiness alongside family and friends back home, I start to absorb the taste of that shock. It’s so cut and dried.

While living abroad, I had to change to fit in the new environment with people from diverse cultures. I became much more independent-minded and franker. I lived frugally ‘cause every cent I got came from so much work, tear, and effort.

Little did I know how badly and painfully Reverse Culture Shock would hit me until I actually experienced it. What a bitter pill to swallow!

But when I come back home, people somehow interpret it wrongly. In their eyes, I’m not the same anymore. They are shocked seeing me sort of out of place when I don’t do-what-people-do. I am shocked because it’s ridiculous. Also, group-think has such an ugly impact on some people, and I find it so hard to put up with. Our ways of thinking are different, and mine is not really welcome. It’s why relationships change.

I can’t explain thoroughly how it truly feels living away from home. How miserable, scary, sad; how expensive, cold and hungry; how highly competitive; how enchanting, beautiful or ugly, etc. Only when people stay there do they understand how I felt. Not being able to communicate and lacks of understandings lead to estrangement. I feel alienated from my own people, which is heart-breaking. Moreover, it also comes to my knowledge that some skills I learned from abroad can’t be applied in my country. The government system, way of thinking/doing business, people’s mentality, family strings, etc. And the list just seems endless…

Though the transition back home is a tough nut to crack, it’s normal and understandable. And it takes time.

After a few months, I find myself slowly crawling out of that shroud of misery by burying myself in work. I feel grateful to have very rewarding jobs offered by people who believe in me. I enrich my knowledge, sharpen my skills, work&work to save money. I know that when I’m more independent financially, I can just go everywhere I want.

It was about my reverse culture shock. What about yours? 🙂

AnhThy(Tea) started to travel at a very young age, but things get serious during her years living abroad where she was exposed to majestic nature and wonderful people from all walks of life. Apart from photography, writing becomes part of her life in which she relives all of the memories built up along the way, and in which she can become as many different characters as she always wants to be. Following her journey to discover more of the personality that comes across in her work.


  1. Gladys says:

    Not only do I know what you mean about “hunger” but also about feeling misplaced once you are back to your home country !!! People just don’t get you anymore and they think that you became arrogant. But no, it’s just that you have opened your mind thanks to those people that you had the chance to meet during your journey.

    • AnhThy says:

      You are so right! I totally felt so left out when I returned home in the first few months. It’s like if I keep mentioning about my experience abroad, they think I am kinda showing off (“Look! The girl who’s coming back from the US is talking” WTF????) . If I don’t share anything, I feel lonely. But I, then, put myself in their situation, thinking about my reaction if I hadn’t been lucky enough to study abroad and met wonderful people from all over the world, I would have reacted the same way. And again, I tried to adapt myself to that new old environment. Things got better after a while 🙂 I am grateful that I have you and other friends who got my back and always there for me when I feel nostalgic. Big hug! <3

  2. chemKa says:

    Hey this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Fabian says:

      Hey we are using Visual Composer as a WYSIWYG Editor to create the website and write the posts. These days coding knowledge is not really required anymore. I’d suggest you use WordPress as your CMS and a professional theme, which are nativly coming with Visual Composer. As a beginner it takes some time but after a while you’ll be able to create stunning websites.

      On Google you find tons of tutorials and tips how to start a blog. Just search for “How to create a blog” and you are good to go.

      If you have more questions just hit me up via email.


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