Guide to a Working Holiday in Canada (free illustrated PDF guide)

Chapter 33: THE ADVENTURE IS OVER… NOW WHAT? - Dealing with mixed feelings and the reverse culture shock

Published: 02-03-2020

Author

Julie

THE ADVENTURE IS OVER… NOW WHAT?

You’re spending your last few weeks or days in Canada. It’s time to go home and you’re probably feeling ambivalent about it—it’s exciting because you’re going to see your family and friends but the prospect of settling back into your old routine is also scary.

On a practical note, notify any government agencies you’re dealing with (healthcare, tax, etc.) that you came back from an extended stay abroad. The process should be the same as when you left (see “Find out your legal responsibilities”).

Dealing with mixed feelings and the reverse culture shock

Leaving home wasn’t easy but going back is also surprisingly difficult. It’s normal to have mixed feelings and to feel conflicted. Sure, being surrounded by your loved ones in a familiar environment is comforting but your mind is still elsewhere, thousands of kilometres away.

This state of mind can last a few days, a few weeks or a few months. It’s never easy to turn the page and pick up life where you left off.

Your routine can feel oppressive because you had a lot more leeway and flexibility in Canada. It can be difficult to express your feelings. You’ve changed, you lived unique experiences but your friends and relatives are just a year older and they didn’t live your adventure.

Remember how tricky it was to adjust to Canada when you first arrived? Now you may be experiencing “reverse culture shock”—familiar aspects of your culture feel foreign or strange and you’re annoyed with the way things are done because “Canadians don’t do that!”

Going back is sometimes so painful that many WHP holders have only one goal in mind—travelling again as soon as possible!

You’ll see clearer once you start digesting your WHP experience. In the meantime, even if you’re feeling conflicted, you’ll still appreciate your loved ones, your environment and life’s little pleasures.

You’ll be the one writing the next chapter of your life. Anything is possible!

Some of you will probably fall in love with Canada and decide to start the permanent residence process.

Some of you will have gotten addicted to travelling and will start planning their next trip somewhere else.

Some of you will see life at home differently and move on with life and your career, building on this unique international experience.

No matter what, you will change and see the world with new eyes.

Chapter 33 of 34

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