12. Much later, you may find yourself returning to your homeland and - guess what? - you may find yourself entering the fifth phase of culture shock. This is called "reverse culture shock" or "return culture shock" and occurs when you return home. You have been away for a long time, becoming comfortable with the habits and customs of a new lifestyle and you may find that you are no longer completely comfortable in your home country. Many things may have changed while you were away and - surprise! surprise! - it may take a little while to become at ease with the cues and signs and symbols of your home culture.

One of the facets of culture shock is that living in a situation of increased stress and excitement makes us forget that our homes are changing too. Time goes very quickly for people in a new culture because they are so busy learning and experiencing. But the people we left behind in our homeland are learning and experiencing too. Sometimes we forget that, because life is changing all the time, our homeland is changing, our parents, brothers, sisters, boyfriends and girlfriends are changing.

Expect to find some surprises when you return home, and remember to use the same techniques you used to survive culture shock in the host country: take good care of yourself and keep your stress level down!

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