Tag Archives: reverse culture shock

My First Week Back Home

19 Jun

So, it has been officially one week since I moved from beautiful, exciting Prague, Czech Republic back to boring old Sutton, Massachusetts. Much like when you first move abroad, when you move back home after being away for a while you experience a form of culture shock. ‘Reverse Culture Shock’ to be more precise. So, how have my adjustments been so far? Well, read on to find out!

1. Food is so sad tasting & hurts my stomach all the time

All my life I have had an extremely sensitive stomach. I was diagnosed as Lactose Intolerant at a young age & doctor’s always suspected I had some Gluten & Thyroid issues. Although my Lactose Intolerance eventually subsided, usually at home I had to be careful of what I ate or tummy aches were sure to ensue. 

Not in Europe. In Europe I found I could eat almost anything (even extreme no-nos like ice cream or the whipped cream atop my beloved Svichkova) & be perfectly fine. I think my entire time in Prague, my stomach didn’t hurt once after eating like it does at home. Even when my friend Alex, who is on a strict no-dairy no-gluten diet, came to visit, she drank beer & ate dumplings. & She was fine. 

It’s no secret that most food in America is pumped with chemicals, fillers & preservatives. Things that are actually banned in the rest of the world. So I’m not surprised that my stomach has been hurting since I came back. Food just tastes so bland to me now. Most of what I’m eating comes from a box or was frozen. & Food at restaurants taste generic. Like it was just sitting back there in the kitchen waiting to be ordered. I really miss how fresh food tasted in Europe. & How it didn’t kill my stomach every time I ate it 😦 


2. Being Broke: Works in Europe not In USA

As of right now I have $5 to my name on a credit card. Yup, that’s it. And I have no idea when I will be getting money next. In Prague, this was such a normal occurrence, I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash. $5 is actually a lot of money in Prague. If you know how to use it. You can still go out to get a few beers, buy a few groceries & have a good night. 

In Sutton $5 will do nothing. It will barely put a gallon of gas in my poor car that is sitting in the driveway with its gaslight on ‘E’. $5 will barely get my a sandwich at Panera Bread or whatever place my friends want to meet up & talk. $5 Means I have no social life right now. So if you want to hang out with me, sorry, you’re going to have to come to me. 

& Unlike Prague there’s no cool parks for us to walk to & drink a few beers.

3. Job Hunting Is Not That Scary

I’m sure it really would have been 1 year ago when I was fresh out of college. Because I had none of this coveted ‘experience’ that most job applications request. However, upon coming home I realized just how much of an asset I would be to ANY company. I have certainly been through a lot my past year in Prague, maybe even more than applicants much older than me, & in an interview I’m not afraid to tell you that.

So far I have applied to 7 jobs or so. And I really had to hunt around. Because I do not want something that will make me completely unhappy, bored or unfulfilled. If you recall older posts were I firmly fight for the belief that I can choose happiness over money or, both. I firmly believe I am qualified for everything I’m applying for & trying to articulate that my age is not synonymous with inexperienced.

(ps: I have a phone interview with one position in 1hr & should hear back from another one later today!)

4. No One Has Changed

When you think about it, it really has only been 1 year & people usually don’t change much in that amount of time. So yup, as expected, everyone is still doing what they were doing a year ago & probably what they will still be doing in one year.

Everyone’s on a different path, I guess. 

5. Except Me

While I am much more worldly, calmer & open-minded after living in Prague, I have to admit I am most proud of myself for how low maintenance I’ve become. 

I barely wear makeup, have not done anything with my hair, & really only dress up when I have somewhere to go. Plus I have no phone, no iPod & didn’t freak out when I had no computer for a few days. This shows personal growth. I am a lot less self-conscious of my appearance & could really care less if I have a phone at all. I love being disconnected. It’s like going to live in the woods or something, I feel free. 

I am not like everyone else in my generation with my eyes permanently glued to my phone. I would much rather look at what is around me. I don’t want to text or call people, I would rather speak to them in person. 

Currently conflicted between my ‘New Jessi’ hippie self with grown out dark roots & getting my hair highlighted & trimmed to go back to ‘Old Jessi’…we will see. 


6. I Am Not In A State Of Constant Depression…Yet

The first stage of culture shock is excitement. You are excited to go to the new place & this lasts about 2 weeks. But my reverse culture shock hasn’t really been typical. I experienced no jet lag (I know right!), & was never really super excited to come back.

Yeah, it’s been cool seeing everyone, it’s been nice sleeping in a comfy bed & swimming in the pool. But I mean, I think I would have been perfectly fine staying in Prague. 

Because I didn’t have any huge exciting expectations for my return home, I guess I haven’t been too disappointed with sitting at home doing nothing for the past week. Although, I know how I am. I crave routine.

So, in order to prevent a post move depression I will throw myself into my job (once I get hired) & also, the gym, a healthy & constructive way to channel all this emotion. I got this covered. 

So that’s what’s been happening in my life these days. Sadly not as exciting of a read as previous posts. But I’m sure as time goes on & I find my place here, you will hear some more of my crazy adventures!

JG 🙂