Who would have thought that returning to what I always thought was my favorite place in the world, home, would be so difficult. Leaving Ireland behind and returning to America wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. You get into such a routine living in Europe and now it is all changed again. You make lifetime friends and then just have to say goodbye for who knows how long. Some of the challenges I have faced in this reincorporation phase include driving on the right side of the road again, having tax not included in the price, and coming back to violence and anger. In Los Angeles, there is a huge movement going on called “Black Lives Matter”. The most violence that a person deals with in Ireland is probably a drunk guy on the street. Here in America that is a completely different story, unfortunately. These are just a few of the things that I have had to readjust to by coming back home. Slimbach comments on some of these when he states, “To the extent that certain basic assumptions about the world have been challenged through our cross-cultural environment, we may find ourselves painfully out of joint with life back home” (205). I agree that life is just different at home, but eventually it will all seem “normal” again.
When sharing my Reincorporation Letter with my parents, I had many emotions going through my head. Of course I am happy to be home, where I get to see my family, friends and of course my puppy. The quote I chose to share with my parents was “Home is where the heart is”. Ireland will always have a special place in my heart and I will always want to be back there. But, I have to realize that America is my home and life can be just as great here as it was there. I explained to them how I learned a lot while being abroad and have come back with a different outlook on life for the better. They were of course so happy to hear all of this and thrilled my experience was so great.
I learned so many great things while being abroad. I hope that I can carry these “gems” into my life here in America as well. One example is how healthy I was while being abroad. For instance, I walked everywhere. Some days I was walking around 12 miles and I hope to continue to walk and see the world even hear in my home town. Of course it will be different. Maybe I will choose to walk to the store rather than drive like I normally would. Also, the food was so fresh and healthy in Europe. I plan to eat healthy as much as possible here in America as well by going organic. I feel healthier and I want to stay that way.
The quote that I have chosen to represent how I am feeling is, “Don’t be afraid of change. You might lose something good, but you’ll gain something better” –unknown. Of course it is difficult to leave such an amazing place, but that doesn’t mean home isn’t just as great. They are very different places and have different positives and negatives to them. It is important for me to use those positives to my advantage and live life to the fullest no matter where I am in the world. I might have left my amazing friends back in Ireland, but I also came home to amazing family and other friends. I have to appreciate what I have in life and be thankful for it all.