Expect feeling a bit lost.
Expect to be patient with yourself.
Expect that you will be changed.
Expect to have people not understand.
Expect that you will be happy to see friends and family.
Expect that you will have no regrets.
Coming back home is not always easy. There are a few pieces of advice we can provide you, but until you live it, it’s hard to say how you will feel about returning. Each person’s experience is unique. However there are some things that hold pretty constant for all career breakers.
Reverse Culture Shock
Yes, even though you are returning to your home culture after experiencing many new different cultures, you still will be in some stage of shock. Odds are that the first time you walk back into a grocery store in North America you may be thrilled to be there, but you will also be a bit dazed and confused with all of the choices.
After JoAnna Haugen was gone in the Peace Corps for an extended period of time, she talks about how she combats the shock of being home.
Craft Your Environment Again
It’s important to surround yourself by people who’ve gone through a similar experience and love travel. It’s helpful to stay active in MPG local meetups and the online community – helping others who are planning their breaks provide you an outlet to share all of the knowledge you gained.
And be warned…there will be people who aren’t very interested in hearing stories about your travels. Learn to identify them before you bore them to death and find people who do want to hear them.
We cover more on what to expect when you return in Career Break Basic Training, as well as other topics related to your Re-Entry.