One of my world traveler friends read my last blog and explained that my unease is due to a well-known malady called “reverse culture shock” precipitated by my 10-month sojourn to the UAE. Who knew!!

When I looked it up through Bing (shameless plug, because I love it), I discovered what everyone else already knew… returning home can be as traumatic as leaving home. I had many of the symptoms including…

  • Restlessness, rootlessness
  • Reverse homesickness-missing people and places from abroad
  • Boredom, insecurity, uncertainty, confusion, frustration
  • Change in goals or priorities

My friend even sent a link to a site about this malady written by Amanda Kendle, who apparently travels a lot for her job. After reading it, I began to feel better just knowing that my experience is “normal”. Amanda cited an example of a friend who was “trying to decide between going to New York or renting a house in Tuscany”. To my “friends at home”, this would sound boastful, but in my “other home”, this would be part of a normal discussion.

In fact, I have tried to explain to my friends at home (US), that my new friends (in the UAE) disperse during the summer and literally scatter around the world for summer vacation. But, this is an unbelievable concept for the majority of us. We think these kinds of travels are reserved for the wealthy, when in fact, many non-wealthy people travel like this all the time.

Oh well… Thanks to Judy for letting me know that I’m really normal and better yet… I will recover from this temporary malady.

Stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “Reentry

  1. Aleta, I wrote a really long reply last night but decided it was too extensive and probably not even complete. You only know me from the delightful Progressive Dinner main course event at your home SEVERAL years ago. I’ve enjoyed following your blog for the entire ten months. I commented a few times but enjoy everyone of your entries.

    My effort last night was a lengthy explanation of why I fully understand your reentry disorientation. I traveled with my parents and younger brother from Ohio to Germany, France, Spain, Morocco, and Algeria to Tunisia on my father’s first tour as a regional medical officer with the State Department. It was an exotic sojourn through Europe and especially across North Africa. I was part of the house hunting and settling in to a lovely house in Carthage. I made friends with a Jewish French national, whose family had lived in Tunisia for generations, and a Tunisian (Muslim) who were best friends. We were an interesting triumvirate for about six months, which included the Six Days War. When I returned to the US to complete my final year at Emory, I had a similar reentry experience. Simply flying over the Eastern United States, I was overwhelmed by all the GREEN! I was disoriented in the grocery stores by the volume and the selection – and this was 1967!!!

    I do hope Robert and I can have you and Clay over for dinner sometime within the next few months. We are into our fourth week of a long awaited basement renovation. My much beloved mother, who went with all the family to Sandbridge Beach the week of June 12th – 19th, died within 36 hours of our return. We are still reeling from the shock. However she had a number of health issues and at 89 dying in her sleep was an excellent choice.

    Thanks for taking me along on your venture. I look forward to a personal visit and hearing about your next adventure!

    1. Lissa,

      Sorry to hear about your mother. It was actually my father’s death that precipitated our sojourn overseas. When he passed away and my husband retired, we no longer had ties that kept us anchored.

      I’m glad you were along on my journey.


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