Culture Shock

Reverse culture shock is something our program at St. Cloud State University talked about with us since we signed up for our semester in South Africa. I’m re-blogging this post because I think the author grapples with this difficult to express topic. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle the trip home. Last year when I landed at the Minneapolis airport I cried. But as the tears flowed I had hope of returning for this semester. Last year when I was here I didn’t have the thought of I won’t be back because I fully expected to be back in South Africa for my internship. Now, I have a vague wish and hope to return but I have no plan to make it happen. So, in 12 days when our plane takes off from the OR Tambo International Airport I’m going to allow myself the moment to let the tears flow (much like they are doing now just thinking about it).


Culture shock is a funny thing.

For me it looks less like the resentment of American commercialism and the slight panic that occasionally sets in when driving on the right side of the road.

For me, it’s more that I struggle to do my laundry. (Don’t worry – I HAVE done it by now, tearfully so I might add.) I can’t throw away the now empty toothpaste bottle I bought at the mall in Pietermaritzburg. I’m having trouble deciding if I want to talk about South Africa and at the same time I don’t know how to talk about anything else.

And don’t get me started on maps.

Over the last few years “wanderlust” has become quite the fad. Dorm rooms are decorated with maps, hallways are lined with travel inspired quotes, and every Pinterest account has at least one travel board. I myself set a map as my Facebook…

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