I’ve been running into friends and acquaintances I haven’t seen in the past year and a half and each of them rattle off the same list of questions about what it’s like to come home from being abroad. So I figure, why not set the record straight and lay it out all here on the internet.
1. Are you happy to be back? Yes, of course! I was so happy in Chiang Mai, but after traveling for more than a month at the end of our trip — living in hotels and out of a backpack — I was ready to come home.
2. How are you acclimating — is everything so expensive now to you? Well, you can read about my culture shock, or lack thereof, here. And yes, it is expensive, then again, that was to be expected. Sure, when I lived in Thailand it was awesome that I could eat a good meal for $1 and buy a cute top at the market for $8. Now, I’m in America and that’s not going to happen… unless I order off the dollar menu at McDonalds or continue to shop at Forever XXI. And that’s fine. It doesn’t bother me, it is what it is and I knew it was going to happen.
3. Do you miss it? So much. Our apartment was tiny and I never got a handle on the language, but I miss it. Mostly, I miss my students. My co-workers. My school. It really felt like home and it’s hard to think that I will never see any of those faces again. Those kids made me smile every day for a year; I will always miss that daily joy.
4. Are you going to be a teacher now? Nope! I thought about, ultimately though, I think it would be silly of me to assume my teaching experience in Thailand would in anyway resemble a classroom in the states. As much as my family would hate to hear me say this, I am not opposed to the idea of teaching abroad again in the future.
5. What’s next? Colin is off to graduate school in North Carolina and I am applying to graphic design programs in Chicago. I’m very nervous and excited for this next phase. In the meantime, I plan on enjoying every bit of my summer break: music festivals in Chicago, holiday weekends in northern Michigan, and maybe even crossing the pond to visit Killian. I may have come home, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay put!
Photo booth fun!
My favorite thing about the party — after the mouthwatering food & steller guest list — was definitely the photo booth. Give a room full of inebriated partygoers a backdrop and props and they know what to do…
Welcome back to the U.S.A. We hope you’ll stay!
What can I say, my sister Alison knows how to throw a party! Not only was her house decked out in red, white, and blue for the “America” theme, but she also ordered all of my favorite foods: Hartley’s Potato Chips from Pennsylvania, Tom’s Mom’s Cookies from Michigan, and Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza from Chicago. An honorable mention must go out to my Aunt Karen for making her world-famous spicy chicken sandwiches as well as my Mom and Jackie for all their hard party prep work. It was such an amazing night and it made Colin and I felt very special that people came from near and far to celebrate our return.
While I was in DC last week, Lauren organized a mini-Miami happy hour at the Board Room. Colin and I loved seeing familiar faces, even if we only had two hours to spare before a family dinner. I feel like an apology is in order for Jenna, who barely had time to breathe let alone sip her beer because I was dying to get the 411 on her her & Jason, book club meetings, and our upcoming college reunion. What can I say, homegirl and I needed to catch up!
This is my other family. This is where I’ve been coming for nine years and I love all these people… We’ve grown up together, we’ve had children, we’ve gotten married, we’ve gotten divorced, we’ve cried together, we’ve fought a little bit — not like Grey’s Anatomy — and that’s really what I’m going to miss the most.
A twenty-something girl living and teaching in Thailand. This is where I post about what I do, see, eat, and experience... Thanks for reading!