The next lovely lady in my series on reverse culture shock is Agness. Like Agata who moved to Italy, Agness is also originally Polish, and she spent a couple of years teaching in China and another year travelling around Asia before returning home to Poland – but unfortunately returning from China to her home in Poland was not as happy as she’d expected.
Asian experiences, Polish homecoming
I spent over two years in China where I was an English teacher in one of the private kindergartens in Dongguan and another year in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka just travelling around. After my Asian voyages, I decided to return to my hometown of Zagan in Poland where I spent winter and Christmas with my friends and family.
When I arrived home, I felt like nobody paid any attention to what I was saying. I felt like nobody understood my travel passion and nobody listened to my stories. It seemed like nobody supported me and people were simply jealous of my adventures.
My friends and family kept saying “You’re the lucky one. Being on a holiday all the time must feel awesome.” They didn’t understand that part-time blogging and travelling combined with working full-time as a foreign teacher was a hard job. It was hard to speak the same language once again. I even wrote a blog post where I shared my reverse culture shock with my readers and fellow travel bloggers called Travellers vs. Non-travellers – Will We Ever Understand Each Other?(Amanda says: That post is well worth a read. Lots of you will probably relate to it! Having visited both South-East Asia and Poland I can well imagine that the differences are vast; from my experiences in Slovakia I can also imagine that the older generations of Poland can’t quite relate at all to Agness’ travelling lifestyle because when they were her age, it was hard enough to travel to another eastern European country, let alone beyond the Iron Curtain.)
How reverse culture shock changed Agness
After my experience of reverse culture shock, my desire and love for Asia was definitely stronger. I came to terms with the fact that some people will never get my way of thinking. Our family and friends cannot understand us. We are a new generation, the digital nomads and this is something unexplainable for them. They cannot understand the greatness of our freedom and I understood that I was the happiest when travelling and that was the most important thing for me.
My recommendation for someone about to return home after an extended time abroad: Hope for the best, but get yourself ready for the worst!
Agness is a photography passionate, food lover and adventure hunter. She stands behind eTramping – a travel website where you can find plenty of budget travel tips on how to travel the world with $25 in your pocket. If you would like to read more about China, you can check out her Add Your Brick to the Great Wall: Experience-based Advice for China from Expats e-book which sums up her two-year experience of teaching, living and travelling in the Land of Dragons.