Monday, May 23, 2011

Reverse Culture Shock

I know there is culture shock when you go to a new culture (I have even experienced it myself) what I didn't realise until recently is that there is reverse culture shock when you go home! In a short time I will be going home for the first time since 2009. I figured I would write this now while I have a good Internet connection. I wanted to try and explain myself via my blog so please bear with me. I want to be clear right from the very start that I have amazing friends and family who I love very much and who love me. I could have never done this without their support and none of that has ever changed for me nor will it ever.

That being said, I want to talk about what I am feeling. I am slightly scared to come home. Nervous that things won't be the same, people won't be the same (I am not the same person as when I left because I have grown, learning from so many experiences I have had in 2 years) or on the flip side of the coin maybe I am scared everyone at home hasn't changed much and I have.

I am scared I won't be able to relate to people at home, we won't be on the same "level", conversation will be hard because I have been all over the world on this adventure and they haven't. I really have fallen in love with this life style. My life is on my back and I am not tied to anything. When I don't like somewhere or something I get up and go. Sure I have worked and had jobs (and worked hard) but my life has been anything but "routine" for the past two years.

I have fallen in love with the feeling that this world is a big place to explore and that I can do it. I have been to many countries in this time away and I have seen and done many many amazing things and I have been so so lucky to do so. These travels have forever changed my perspective on life and I am so grateful I made the choice to do this because my life is better for it.

When I do get home you might notice some differences, My core personality is the same. My accent is the same but things like my vocabulary and spelling have changed. I am still "American" and certainly a Texan but you are going to have to bear with me. If I say something you don't understand ask me to translate haha. I just worry that being home is going to make me so restless I will start going crazy! I worry that I won't be able to go back to my "old" life and be happy.

For those of you who have seen the movie The Hurt Locker and remember the scene near the end of the movie where the soldier gets home and he is grocery shopping and just walking up and down the aisles staring at nothing. He can't adjust to "normal" life. Life as a soldier is all he knows. Of course I haven't been to war but I feel that I can parallel this feeling.

It is strange to even be writing this. I never expected not to be 1000% ready to come home and be totally happy. I am as surprised as you that I have so fallen in love with my current life style but at this moment in time I can honestly say that I am 100% happy right here right now sitting here in Bogotá Colombia. Basically what I am saying is I need you to bear with me while I adjust back to life of a normal person. I need you to realise that I may have the overwhelming desire to leave again and I need you to realise that I DO care about each and every person in my life back home and abroad this is just a new experience for me. I am trying to deal with this.

If you ask me "What is the best thing you did in your trip" that is going to be very hard for me to answer because I have been lucky enough to see and do MULTIPLE amazing things. If you ask me "how was your trip" you need to be prepared for a long answer! It was two years of my life remember! I don't want to feel like a stranger in my own home and country but right now I do so I am asking for your help to help me adjust.

One last thing, I don't write this to be all "high and mighty" and tell you how amazing my life is and what I have seen and done. I have had shitty days too, normal days, gone to work 9-5. I am still a normal person I just travel. I know your lives haven't been on hold waiting for me to come home. I am quite sure your lives have been great too I just need to get these emotions out the best way I know how. My one year adventure in Australia has turned into a two year multi country adventure so my life is different than I ever expected but I don't regret a thing and I hope you don't either.

This blog may sound very negative to you. It may sound like me whining about coming home but I felt that I needed to write this. I really am looking forward to eating a meal hand cooked by my mother and seeing my family and sharing a Shiner Bock with all my awesome friends back home. I am just not looking forward to everything else that goes along with "normal"" life. I hope yall can understand where I am coming from and I hope I expressed myself correctly. I do feel bad that I don't feel "ready" to come home and I wish I could continue traveling even now but, it is how I feel.

Thanks for listening and I hope you understand. -Tyler

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