Reverse Culture Shock


Culture shock is the disorientation towards a new environment. Reverse culture shock is when you struggle to make sense of returning home.

“When we return to the city, you’ll realize how separated you’ve become.” Galeo was clearly trying to speak soft and calm about this, but also was trying to make his point clear. “It can be difficult. It’s best not to drive —”

“What?” Some of the group are taken aback, a half-hearted laugh says it all.

“After spending a long time walking out here, you become used to walking in the mountains and being very aware of your surroundings in a mountain-sense. Trust me — I get back on the road and I forget to look at road signs but I notice every flower on the side of the highway.”

I chuckle, but the reality of this statement hit me square. Fast forward two hours, and I could see how correct Galeo was. I’m in a charted bus, speeding back to Cape Town reeling at the speed. The mere thought of traffic, horns, and crazy taxi drivers makes my head spin. So I stare out the window, concentrating on the flowers we pass and the mountains falling further and further away in the distance.

There goes “the swoop” we hiked up yesterday. Its taken a matter of minutes to reach it.

The landscape, the speed of all of this, is unreal. I let my focus blur and let go of concentrating to anything. Best to adjust once I’m standing on my own to feet in Cape Town.


motion blur highway

blurry highway