Cultural Readjustment: A Work in Progress

I never thought it would happen.

All of my study abroad handbooks said things along the lines of “you will be homesick and then you will be fine” followed by “the reentry will be difficult and you will be homesick for your host country.”

I looked at those and laughed; I thought that I wouldn’t be affected by homesickness of any sort. I had no longing for home while in Italy–there was that desire for my comfortable bed, but beyond that, I was content in Italy.

Today, it hit me.

I’ve been Stateside for nearly two weeks now. Those two weeks have been jam packed, all in an attempt to acclimate myself to being home, along with family reunions and temporarily relocating for a brief summer job.

I was sitting in training this afternoon, and I thought of Italy. My time there felt so distant, as though it never actually happened. I pushed it aside and got on with my day. Now, waiting to fall asleep, I long for Italy. I long for the museums, particularly the Palazzo Pitti. The laid back attitude, the ability to walk clear across the city. I miss apertivi. I miss my mid-morning cappuccino.

How long does the cultural readjustment last?

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5 thoughts on “Cultural Readjustment: A Work in Progress

  1. Depends. It takes time to adjust, we create emotional anchors to places and things which become part of what we define as the “I” or the self. What was once strange becomes familiar, what was extraordinary becomes ever so ordinary. Slowly, without thinking, your vocabulary changes, your lifestyle changes even your bed feels different as you reestablish those anchors and leave the old ones behind.

  2. I just came home to Australia after 18 months living in France. I never felt at home while I was there, yet ‘home’ down under no longer feels like home either. Apparently it’s a case of social readjustment, though I’ve been told that for each month overseas, you need the same to readjust to your own culture. Does that mean I’ll be readjusting for 18 months? I sure hope not…

    1. It took me a while to readapt, not sure how long. First it was adapting back to the US, then back to my school…in some ways, I’m still adjusting.

      Things will get easier.

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