After three months in England, I am back in the good ol’ United States of America. After 15 hours of traveling, I got off my plane at the airport, listened to the customs police chastise people for using their cellphones, and found my parents waiting for me.
Being back is normal yet weird at the same time. It’s not so much the big things, but the little ones that have been throwing me through a loop. My mind is just boggled by things like being able to have lukewarm water instead of only boiling hot or freezing cold, or how big the refrigerator is compared to the one in my old flat.
In particular, these are the things that have been on my mind since I’ve been home…
1. I am overwhelmed by all the stuff in my old bedroom. After having such a limited number of items to choose from for three months, the idea that I can pick from thirty different shirts instead of the same ten I wore for three months is overwhelming.
2. Driving again was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I thought I would have trouble after being driven on the left side of the road for so long, but as soon as I started the engine, I was instantly at ease.
3. After living in my flat with paper thin walls, I keep forgetting I can actually make noise without waking up the whole house. Watching a video on my laptop without headphones for the first time in twelve weeks felt very strange.
4. I feel very overwhelmed after returning. It’s like stuff that I have done my whole life should feel easy, but then I find myself struggling to remember the most basic things like setting the oven to Fahrenheit instead of Celsius.
5. It’s so nice to have the sun come up earlier and go down later again. When I left, the sun came up in England at 8:10 a.m. and went down at 3:50 p.m. In Maryland, the sun comes up at 7:20 a.m. and goes down at 4:40 p.m. That’s almost two more hours of sun a day!
6. It’s odd to be back in my original time zone. It also sucks because now any correspondence with the US has to be done in a timely manner versus having five hours of leeway.
7. It’s hard to know how much to talk about England. I definitely don’t want to be the snobby study abroad girl who only talks about study abroad, but it’s hard because that was literally my life for the past three months.
8. I don’t miss England as much as I thought I would. It probably helps that I know the majority of my friends are gone too, so it’s not really the same England as I left behind.
9. Jet lag has been steamrolling over me. All I want to do is sleep and sleep and sleep. I’ve gone to bed at 9 p.m. and woken up at 5-6 a.m. every day for the past three days and, I’ve taken naps too. I’ve just felt so tired. (It probably doesn’t help that I barely slept my last week in England).
10. I just can’t believe three months ago I was writing my ten observations after my first day in England post. It feels almost like a dream now.
What’s the hardest thing for you after returning after a long vacation or studying abroad?