Travel Log 15: “There’s No Place Like Home? Rites of Reincorporation” By Matthew Mattson. Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Reincorporation into my original place at home is not as easy as I thought it would be.  After the first couple days, I found myself getting bored quickly and started to feel isolated.  It is like I am on an island and everyone can visit, but no one can truly stay.  I do feel like I am in a separate place from other people around me that have not seen more than one perspective.  This feeling of loneliness seemed like a gap that couldn’t be filled, but the reincorporation letter definitely helped.  My letter was trying to show how my thought process has been widened and my perspective is changed.  My letter included a lot about this change I have had and how has been pretty hard to articulate how I feel about my experiences and now defining what my future goals will be.  I chose an illustration of a singular tree in a field.  It symbolized to me the sense of isolation I have been feeling and how it would take time for me to re adjust to being home.  The quote I chose was one that showed how important coming home still was to me, because the sense of isolation in the beginning of the letter almost made it seem like I didn’t want to come home.  “I am travelling half the year around the world, every year, so coming home is one of the most beautiful things,”- Andre Reiu.  Coming home to me is a beautiful thing.  The sense of continuity with the town I grew up in is boring, but refreshing.  My parents reacted to this letter in a very understanding way.  They understood how difficult it was to come home with a different mindset when everyone else remained mostly the same.  I think my growth will be easier to apply with college friends, because we were all together when we had to make the change to being in university without our family, so I think they are used to understanding change in individuals.  I think their reaction was exactly what I expected so nothing really changed for me, but I feel that I need more time to bridge the gap to feel more connected to family and friends.

The chapter in Slimbach’s book did help to understand my own feelings and how I can try to adapt to coming home.  “This phase of blissful indulgence tends to last about a week, if that long,” (Slimbach, 207).  The paragraph further talks about how being home is boring and I completely agree.  I feel like all the energy has been sucked out of me because there is so little to do.  The only thing that keeps me going is my desire to apply what I have learned abroad to my home community.  One of the most important lessons I learned was to listen to every story and I have been staying true to this.  I think I listen more than I ever have before which is a good improvement.  I believe that with help friends and family my adjustment won’t be as difficult as I may think.  I feel that I will also have a more open mind to ideas and critically think more about issues on a communal, national and global scale.  I believe that I may fall into a slump of laziness while home since there will be nothing to do, but I will be able to overcome this by trying to get out, do activities, get a job and hand out with friends.

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