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Reverse Culture Shock: Climbing the Repatriation Mountain

Have you ever got into the groove of a new location really quickly?   Yesterday I completed a task, which seemed easy enough for hundreds of people do it every single weekend.    I climbed Mt. Evans which is 14,264 feet, which seems challenging on the face of it; however the catch is that you can drive almost the entire way to the top.
That last 150 though are on foot! Now while this distance seems small, you get to make this climb at over 14,000 feet which proved problematic for me. I felt very unsteady, a bit woozy and was able to make it by taking a few steps at a time then resting for a bit. Altitude sickness is still on the list of “to be mastered in this lifetime”.

Sometimes when we move and immerse ourselves in a very different environment, culture and geographic location we can experience similar results. Here are a few strategies to deploy or tips if you like, which I remember helped to rock my last dose of reverse culture shock.

  1. Pick each step carefully, paying close attention to each tiny baby step.
  2. Make friends with whomever you bump into on your path.
  3. Be outgoing, willing to share the journey with others – joking, commenting cheering each other on was very much appreciated yesterday.
  4. Stop frequently to evaluate how you’re doing, take a deep breath and relax;
  5. Become part of the community, I notice that we had a common goal to reach the top and everyone cheered each other in that direction.
  6. Get a coach!    My husband happens to be a master-coach, yes, lucky me….but yesterday he was amazingly patient, calm and asked the right and perfect questions;
  7. Persevere… put your head down and take the next step in front of you, keep momentum going by taking small but regular steps;
  8. Celebrate at the top and upon reaching the car park and driving home!    Celebrate each accomplishment and step of the way, thus keeping yourself in the atmosphere of YES!  Climbing your Mt. Evans while maintaining your positive YES energy, keeping your mood, actions and your mindset in complete sync becomes a light that others can follow.

May these Rxs for baby steps all the way up your mountain wherever you are on your repatriation journey, treat it like an adventure and follow your yellow brick road. The view from your mountain top will be amazing, you will be grateful you took the path less travelled. All the best of success, may your life be portable and wondrous.