There are few things more exhilarating then coming back from being abroad. You had an amazing experience and now you get to go back to your college town and see everyone you missed. Things will be just the way you left them, right?
Sadly this isn’t how it usually ends up. That dive restaurant down the road isn’t as good as the one you ate at in Florence; the cute store downtown doesn’t have the wide selection like the one on the streets of Hong Kong; and your hairdresser doesn’t understand what you want from her anymore — at least not like they did in Paris.
If this is how you’re thinking, you need to stop. Your constant chatter is most likely getting on your friends’ nerves. This is not to say that they aren’t excited to hear about your adventures and what you learned along the way, but they don’t need to hear how everything compares to your experience abroad.
But don’t just spare your friends — making these comparisons will only make it a harder adjustment for you, as well.
Another difficult thing to accept is that while you were away, your friends have had a lot of things change in their lives. Technological advances have made it a lot easier to keep in touch than in years past, but hearing all the stories isn’t the same as being a part of them. If you are coming back to a close knit group, accept the fact that it will take a while to catch up on all the inside jokes.
Things happen between people, whether good or bad, and they can change group dynamics. It may feel weird when you don’t know exactly how things transpired, but take it with a grain of salt and accept things for what they are. Before long you will hear the stories, understand what happened and make new inside jokes; the adjustment back into the group is only as strange as you make it.
Sometimes it is easy to try and get back into the groove of things by momentarily forgetting about your experience, but don’t let the easy way tempt you. Most likely, you had the time of your life for a number of reasons, and not all of them have to do with the location. Practice how to make a dish that you really enjoyed overseas. I’m guessing that when you were abroad you needed to make some home-style comfort food because it made the distance seem smaller, so why not do that in reverse?
Also, don’t give up on your hobbies you acquired while studying abroad. Maybe you walked more, or got into the habit of going every morning for a five mile stroll around the city. You may not notice it right away, but that became a part of your routine. Changing things up so much can really mess with a person. Try it in your college town — I bet you will find a number of new places even if you think you know the town well.
Most importantly, appreciate the experience you had and use this time to learn from it. You now have “abroad goggles” on so use them to your best advantage. Continue to discover things about yourself and your surrounding community with the type of excitement you had while you were gone and you will have adventures no matter where you travel to next.
Powered by Facebook Comments