Experience does help prepare for dealing with culture shock and a traveler on an extended trip through multiple countries is generally able to handle it well. What comes as a surprise however, is a feeling of discomfort returning to familiar environment of home. This situation is referred to as reverse culture shock.
We are five months into being jobless, five months into leaving our surfboards and apartment behind in New York City, and five months into backpacking around the world. I figured soon after setting out that I would feel irresponsible for ending a consistent job or stressed about what's next. But that hasn't been the case.
It's always been an interesting and well-debated question among budget travellers and everyone has their own opinion: "Do I need a sleeping bag for my trip?" To answer this, we probably need to look at the most important word in the question: "need." In other words, is it an essential part of your travel kit?