Finally Home: The Return and Reverse Culture Shock

It has been a week since I’ve returned home and it has been very bittersweet. Before returning home I decided to do a little traveling. When it was time to come back to the United States, reality hit me. When I thought of going home I kept thinking about my little apartment in Bangkok, not my home in Puerto Rico.

Going home.

Going home.

I felt very sad when it was time to leave Thailand. I grew to love my neighborhood and the people I interacted with every day. The food vendors who greeted me every day, the fruit man who tried to teach me the names of the different fruits in Thai, and the coffee girl who spoke to me only in Thai and laughed with me when I didn’t understand anything. But even so I was very excited to return to my island, my family, friends, and delicious Puerto Rican food.

Farewell party arrange by the university

A farewell party arranged by my host university

The hardest thing I’ve experience since coming back has been dealing with the jet-lag. It has been a struggle getting back on track and changing time zones. Because of this I have missed out on some dates to see my friends since I’ve been sleeping weird hours. Another one of the biggest changes to re-adjust to has been the difference in price. Thailand is an extremely cheap country to live in. One dollar meals, extremely cheap transportation, and shopping is definitely the thing I miss the most about Thailand. The expensive prices in Puerto Rico have left me in shock. Going from paying $1 for a meal and $1 for an iced coffee to paying more than $15 for both hurts.

Enjoying our lasts days with student discounts

Enjoying our lasts days with student discounts.

I miss Thailand a lot and keep wanting to talk to everyone about my experience. I know that in some weeks I will probably come to experience more reverse culture shock but for now I’m happy to be back home and to share my experiences with my friends and family. And I also have another adventure to look forward to: Beginning this August I will be studying abroad again in Germany for a full year. Thanks to my time abroad in Thailand I feel more than ready to tackle this new experience.  Studying abroad definitely gave me the confidence to say yes to this opportunity and to not be afraid of what’s to come. I feel extremely prepared to overcome any obstacle, to have an open mind, and to do my best in this new adventure.

The day of our last final. Our class of Beginning Thai.

The day of our last final exam in Beginning Thai.

1 Comment

Filed under Arleen in Thailand, South & Central Asia

One response to “Finally Home: The Return and Reverse Culture Shock

  1. Culture shock is sometimes harder to deal with than people realise, it’s good to raise awareness of these things!

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