Salut mes chers lecteurs ! (That is if you’re still reading this thing :p)
Yes, it has been over two months since I’ve settled back into the parents’ nest, and school.
Yes, I am aware that this is probably the latest any returnee has concluded his/her blog after such a life-changing adventure.
And yes, I AM indeed happy to be home, it just took me a while to realise it.
Not to put out any excuses or anything but I arrived the weekend of my return to school here in the US so i didn’t have much time to fix my sleeping/eating patterns, let alone prepare for my second-to-last term at UC Irvine. And here I am now, Spring break mind you, and preparing for my very last term of college ever, for a little while.
A LOT has happened since my return, but I’ll stick to protocol and discuss all things relative, for your sake and that I don’t end up rambling endlessly (kinda like i am now ..)
OKAY 🙂 so initial and quite immediate changes within the first couple of days..lets just say this is what my roommates had to deal with from me & i am forever thankful for their patience..hah! :
Now just like any other college student, I would sleep after midnight before this trip. Even in France an early school night would have a bedtime of about 2h00 (AM). and usually because I would either go out (sorry mom), binge-stream some new favourite shows (I’m still waiting for the second season of ‘Devious Maids’ to come out this summer..) and a late-night Grec run! The jet lag hit me hard after coming back, and while mixed with classes, it took me about 2 weeks to get rid of it.
*note on Grecs – these are just THE best greek sandwiches turned-french I’ve ever tasted. Not to mention, the ‘bread’ was actually a savoury crepe sometimes! My favourite place is on Rue Mouffetard (student district) called ‘Au petit grec’ !
This was probably due to the fact that my body was used to eating lunch in Paris when I was supposed to be sleeping in LA. Luckily, I’d be too tired to cook the first couple of days and jet lag had me in bed by 9:30/10PM. Its actually a new habit that I dont mind anymore (i know, so cool).
…or something similar to this word, I just don’t know a word less intense than this one. Going from an environment of 24/7 French around me in TV, music, class, friends, and family it was actually harder than i thought to come back and go to 24/7 English. Let’s just say you won’t realise that French became a reflex until you leave your second home. So half the time I would just sit in my apartment figuring out how to organise my time and plan out my post-grad plans..As this will definitely lead to…
Now its not as bad as it seems, but not being able to speak french as much was weirdly frustrating for me in the beginning since i had wired my brain with it for the last 5 months. I even forgot some english words in the beginning, but I foresaw this problem while registering for classes in France and ended up in 2 french classes in LA after my trip.
* Definitely something i recommend for those of you who want to continue learning and practicing your host country’s language after you come back!
Another source of frustration was that I (personally) had missed a bunch of moments related to family and friends while i was gone. My moms birthday, for one, and the whole holiday season..good thing i had my mom save me a stash of candy corn from halloween (no they don’t go bad!). One of my dearest family friends also went through a personal loss that I couldn’t be there for, and though I do not wish that upon anyone, there really is no way to prepare for things like this while abroad.
Okay, now this is starting to sound like a recovering alcoholic’s blog…but really I think i DID go through some denial and reverse homesickness up until the one month mark, then I dove into things like research and netflix to keep me busy !
Let’s be real though, I still buy myself the occasional Brie and wine (now that I’m legal!).. now and then, and I’m proud of it!
I guess the best piece of advice I could be giving about ‘dealing’ with the return is that there really is no ONE way to “deal with it.”
But I do have some tips on how to keep yourself happy without annoying your friends who have to hear the same stories over and over again (hahaha):
1. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that all of that JUST happened, even if you have to go through your photos in your computer with tissues in hand — take that time for yourself to cement those memories into your head (on YOUR own time). True story.
2. When people ask for stories, TELL them your stories. (Hint: it may be your only chance!)
3. You don’t HAVE to go back to the habits and routines you had before you left. That’s the beauty of the new perspective you gain from all that travelling!
4. “You win some, you lose some.” Meaning friends who you may have been in touch with before have completely ‘disappeared’ upon your return, and that is completely normal. You’ll figure it out.
5. If you had friends abroad with you and they seem to be assimilating more quickly than you, don’t force yourself to speed up your process. Be true to your own and the time will come when you’re ALL back on the same page. =)
6. Yes. It is okay to cry.
7. No, it is not okay to hate on your own country (now that you’ve seen several others with better transportation systems). Embrace the fact that you have experienced diversity and instead of being critical, analyse what the differences are and keep THAT opinion to yourself. Yes, I speak from experience.
8. And finally…be PROUD of everything you accomplished abroad AND back home. It’s not easy to adjust as quickly as you are expected to and be hopeful that you will go back one day. Because, come on, we’re all going back right?
So I’m not sure if I’m supposed to (remember I suck at this blogging stuff..) but I would like to give you all who read this a HUGE thank you! For dealing with the ramblings and such.. 🙂 Hope you all are either enjoying your time abroad/time back home/preparations to go and again if you have ANY questions about anything, go ahead and email me at:
Who knows, I may just have to come back on here one day for my next adventure.. =)
Your journey has molded you for the greater good. It was EXACTLY what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.
Last-minute photos: [aka my favourite moments, people, places all into ONE!]