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culture shock

Back from Japan – Reverse Culture Shock and Readjustment

· Moving back Home ·

Japan / Jul 17, 2016 / 0 Comments

There’s so many articles and Youtube videos on culture shock when going to Japan, but not as many on the reverse culture shock when you move back home. It can be harder for some people than going there, or at least it was for me. I don’t want to delve too deep in the raging storm of my emotions but I do want to show you what the journey is like. There’s people that can stay in Japan for many years and then there’s people who just can’t stay very long for reasons. Nothing is wrong with either, but if you don’t follow the path best for you then it can be extremely hard.

Calling it the “readjustment” of being back in the US isn’t very befitting. I actually had no problem readjusting because Japan was Japan and Minnesota was Minnesota. It did feel like being ripped out of a dream, sometimes now I still wonder if I was really there, haha. There’s a lot of circumstances that didn’t help either. We were unemployed for three months and it was a crummy time. We left Japan because we didn’t play the finances card right and it was hard understanding that since we moved there, it wasn’t all fun and games. As in, I had bills to pay, school, work to do and we couldn’t just go out and do whatever. Because of this, despite being there for 6 months, there was a LOT I didn’t see!


I did looved my classes and teachers, what gems!

You may have heard stories of people fulfilling their dreams and finding out it wasn’t what they wanted, and they got very depressed. This isn’t like that. I felt really comfortable there and for the first time since I graduated high school, it was like I was where I was supposed to be. It was very natural! So the decision to move back prematurely wasn’t easy and it was very complicated.

The first couple weeks were weird and full of mixed feelings. I honestly thought being back would bring me a certain comfort and it did…but it also didn’t. Again, we left mostly for finances but I also felt unsure of what I was doing with my future and was in a lot of stress, despite also being very happy I was there. I thought being back in Minnesota would satiate my nerves for some reason. It made me feel less pressured in general but deep down, I missed Japan as soon as I landed.


Instagram caption: “Nice having a little bit of Japan with me in daily live 🙂 :3 #missjapan” taken a week after landing.

Update: It’s almost 2 years after this blog post and I haven’t kept up on this site much (school and work, so busy!!) but I’d like to add to it. It’s been a crazy few years since Japan! A lot has happened and there’s been a lot of slow times where I feel like I’m going stir crazy, wishing I was in Japan again (read: Minnesota winters). Life is good though and I changed my degree to Marketing Communications. I’ve got 2-3 semesters left and we’re trying to decide exactly what our plans are after I graduate, as I’ve been hopping between applying for JET or going to language school.

The only real goal I have for my future is that I want to become fluent in Japanese so I’m leaning towards language school first. That way, we can save up the exact number we need and not worry so much about JET placement luck. I am pretty set on being an English teacher, as I’ve always wanted to be one in the past, but I’m also interested in doing Marketing Communications/Social Media Marketing work.

As far as culture shock/readjustment — Missing Japan terribly isn’t a feeling that goes away, at least for me! I didn’t/don’t watch too many J-vlogs anymore because every time I do it makes me want to hop on a plane immediately, haha! As far as *when* we’ll be back in Japan, no earlier than the end of 2019 for sure.