Re-Entry Shock- How It Feels To Come Back After 7 Years of Missions


By: Jamie Martinez

Since I have been back in the USA, I have been dealing with what they call re-entry shock. After living in Mexico for more than 7 years, immersed in the culture, I was having a hard time re-adjusting to my own culture. I was excited to be back with family and friends. However, things had changed while I was gone, and well, I often found myself feeling out of place. First, I wasn’t the same person, I had grown spiritual, I was married and had children. I wasn’t this 18 year old. I had no idea what people where talking about half the time like in fashion, technology, politics, tv series, redbox and so many more things.

I have learned a few things from the re-entry shock. I love both countries. I love the differences. Not everything has to change. I found these few things to be helpful as I re-entered by own culture and country.

•Embrace my new surroundings and friendships

•Surround myself with people like minded people

•Allow yourself time to readjust to thinking and speaking in your native tongue. (it might still be English but the words or sayings might be a bit different.)

•Find a way to express your experiences (carefully) not to sound pretentious. Know where it is wanted and not

•Stay connect with those who are abroad or working abroad.

•Accept that you’ve changed and so do other people

The best thing to do was to ask questions. Accept that I was different and had different life experiences and that my culture had changed. When people were talking about someone that I had no idea about I’d ask, “what is that?” Yes, I had people starring at me like I was dumb. But who cares. Life is not all about us, which I am sure you have learned by living overseas.

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