We’ve been Stateside again about four and a half months, and it didn’t really occur to me that coming back to America was going to be such a different experience after our time away.
The best part of coming back was, of course, seeing our family and friends again – although we haven’t been able to make all the rounds yet that we want to make (Parrotheads and Pier Crew, I’m talking to you). And yes, there was (and still is) real pleasure at having easy access to things we’re glad to have in our lives again: specific foods we’d been jonesing for, being able to shop at favorite stores, not to mention the security of steady paychecks. At the same time, there’s been alot of open-mouthed gaping at the American way of life we used to take for granted, which now seems vaguely familiar but also foreign – and often too fast, and really wasteful.
Those first days and weeks, though, life was mostly just chaos, since besides re-adjusting to American culture, we had to secure temporary places to live (first a guest room with family, then an extended stay hotel near our new jobs, then an apartment). It was all the upheaval of going away, now in reverse coming back: Changes of address, moving, unpacking, learning the ropes at our new jobs and figuring out how to navigate in a (relatively) big city.
Sigh. And now we’re…settled. Ish.
Half home, that is, and half wishing we were off again. Because things here haven’t changed as much as we have, which is hard to explain if you haven’t been through it.
So it was good to come across a recent Wall Street Journal blog that gives this half-in, half-out feeling a name: “repatriation blues“. When I read this post (and this earlier post on same topic), I thought, yeah, that’s it, and right on time, too.