Culture Shock

GEM, my sending organization, sent a great email about culture shock the other day.  I’d learned about the process while living it in Senegal six years ago, and knowing that what I was feeling was normal helped SO MUCH in not feeling awful or insane.  Before I moved to Greece, I told people that I anticipated the same sort of cycle to occur:

In January, I will be motivated, excited, and overwhelmed.  In February, I will become sullen and withdrawn as reality hits and I process the fact that this is not a vacation and I am not going “home” anytime soon.  In March, someone will visit me, and I will get to show off my new home to them while simultaneously rejoicing in my new role as Not the Dumbest One Around.  In April and May, I will settle into my new life and start to take ownership of my routine, friends, and living situation.  After that…I don’t know, because I left Senegal after five months.   Continue reading