This week on Instagram, we featured a story soliciting Alumni student tips on how to deal with the reintegration to life at home after returning from a Dragons program.
The past participant answers were so smart and insightful, we’ve decided to repost them here on the blog. Read on for tips from people who have been there before, and know exactly how it feels….
- Stay in touch with host families! The connectedness is something really unique.
- Don’t go on your phone right away! Reminisce on your time while being at home first.
- Don’t be afraid to talk with others honestly and transparently about your experience.
- Read lots of books, they felt like home to me.
- Remind yourself what truly brought you joy from ur trip, aim to sustain that feeling at home.
- Your Dragons family is the best resource. They understand cuz they’re also going through it.
- See your hometown with “travel goggles.” Enjoy the little things like you did abroad.
- Don’t try and rush ‘normality.’ It takes time to get used to being home (a culture shock 4 sure).
- Don’t do everything at once. For example, meet up with only one friend per day (or less)!
- Talking to your fellow dragons members–as much as humanly possible.
- Enjoy for a day. And then set new goals. Keep the direction forward or suffer in stagnancy.
- Journal on the wisdom you want to hold onto from the cultures you visited.
- Make sure any “what did you do this summer?” conversation goes both ways.
- It was hard! I said ‘namaste’ to everyone for a few weeks on my return home from Nepal.
- Write a lot in your journal and get a good nights sleep.
- Be patient, home won’t feel the same but that’s ok. Travel changes your perspective in unexpected ways.
- Home cooked meal and self-reflection.
- Have a small “elevator speech” to share until you feel ready to talk about specific experiences.
- Look for new ways to explore wherever you are now. Keep being curious!
- Tell your families and friends about it. Show pictures!
- Stay connected with other Dragons.
- Reconnect with all your friends and family and ease back into the Western culture.
- Don’t feel rushed to reintegrate: take your time and enjoy the experience.
- Reach our to your Dragon’s friends if you are feeling alone. They can relate and help.
- Take time for yourself, reflect, & journal!!!
- Cook your favorite food from your host country, keep learning that language, write!
- Immediately start planning your next adventure.
- Embrace it.