I’ve been an international traveler for more than twenty years. During college I lived in Europe for a time, having already visited there on a number of occasions during high school. Then, after my husband and I got married and had our kids, we moved our family to South Asia, where we lived for three years.
Since returning to the States, we’ve continued to head back overseas for short stints. Between the two of us we’ve been to Malaysia, West Africa, East Africa, and South America. In June we’ll go back to Africa, this time together.
I’m gearing up for the trip in the usual ways. But having just returned from Paraguay in March, I’m already feeling tired, and not because of jet lag. It’s something harder to explain: I’m preparing myself for reverse culture shock–again.
I experienced it in 2012, of course, when we returned to America after living in India. But I feel it now, too, every time my plane touches down in the U.S. after carrying me across the ocean. It’s weird and silly seeming because, these days, I’m only ever gone for a couple of weeks or so.
But it’s real.
Today I came across a blog post about this strange traveler’s phenomenon. I don’t know if you’re a globe-trotter, or if you’re friends with, or family to, people who are. If so, this article is worth the read–either for personal help in coping with RCS, or for help in supporting someone you love who deals with it.