Life At Home After Living Abroad
I just moved home from being abroad three weeks ago from living abroad in South Korea for a full year. Now that I’m back in sunny Los Angeles time has literally flown by. When I first touched down in LA on February 26th I was a ball of overwhelm, anxiety and excitement. I didn’t know what life would look like back home. Even though everyone was excited for my arrival I honestly wasn’t sure if I was excited, terrified or a little bit of both.
Reverse Culture Shock
As soon as I got back home I was a ball of anxiety and stress. I felt overwhelmed by the diversity. I was annoyed because I could clearly understand what everyone was saying (bye bye Korean language). I also felt small. I wasn’t special because I was a Black girl from America, I was just me, back in the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.
Missing Life Abroad
In Korea I developed a new routine and a new comfort zone. I went to work 9–5, taught 4 to 5 classes a day, went home after work, hung out with friends on the weekends and used my breaks for traveling to nearby countries. I didn’t drive, taxi’s and buses became my best friend and living in a pretty developed city I could walk right outside to a local restaurant to eat. Life abroad was much more simple.
Getting Acclimated Again
Coming back home, I thought I had everything planned out. I was going to start writing full-time, I’d land a writing job and build my resume as a freelancer. I’d travel here and there and still maintain a halfway decent lifestyle comparable to what I had prior to leaving.
But… I was dead wrong. I underestimated just how stressful it is to make time for family, friends and on top of that manage a blog and brand. I also forgot about the struggle to find a job (or get a business started) in the first place.
Needless to say, I had to sit down and just “relax”. I was trying to do too much in such little time. I now understand that moving back home after living abroad is just as much of a task as moving abroad in the first place. The same excitement and angst you feel leaving is reversed. I realized that the best thing I could do is to take each day as it comes, live enjoying the precious moments of reconnecting with everyone and be patient with myself.
Originally published at www.hellocharmaine.com on March 21, 2016.