Hey all. It’s now been more than a month since returning home after nearly half a year studying abroad and traveling around Europe, and I’ve found that readjusting back to life stateside has been a journey in itself.
Before heading home, I heard plenty of people talk about post-abroad life. There were the tales of ‘post-abroad depression’, what many described as the nearly unavoidable letdown of returning to a less exhilarating life at home. The stories of culture shock and longing for the friends and life you had formed in a new country were also common. While abroad, I listened to these stories but I didn’t really absorb them. I’ve never been one to jump ahead and I figured I’d “deal” with it all when I got back home.
When I did get home, I didn’t know what to expect. To some extent, I still don’t. I haven’t fully gone through the post-abroad life phase, if such a thing exists. I haven’t had a huge letdown, nor felt the immense joy of being home. I have neither longed for a return to my “new home” (I always recognized I was a visiter there) nor fully embraced life back in the sphere I know so well.
I guess it’s an ongoing process. I know I gained a lot from being abroad, but I don’t think I’ve fully grasped how to process the personal growth and newfound appreciation and understanding the experience has provided me with. Hopefully, that will come with time and more reflection.
For now I’m just happy to be back with my family, living in a country where I fully understand the dominant language, and sleeping in my own bed. Oh, and my mom’s home cooking is pretty nice, too.
Until next time…