Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Culture Shock

I've been home for about 20 hours. In that time I have whirled myself back into the motions of my "normal" life quickly - laundry, shower, sleep, eat, drive, work, eat, work, drive, pay bills, etc. However, I am also feeling some additional layer to all of this - almost like I am going through these things physically but also watching myself go through them at the same time. Maybe that makes no sense, but I feel like I am adding some perspective to the whole experience of travel, besides just going somewhere, seeing things and continuing along my merry way.

This isn't the first time I have felt this way, but maybe it's the first time I thought about it in a way that I could articulate. It's that feeling of being in one place that looks, smells and lives one way and then going to a completely opposite place in the span of 10 hours or so. Even walking into my house gave me a reality shiver (I also actually shivered since I was going from 90+ degrees in Haiti to 17 degrees in Kansas City). Driving my car after a week, selecting a sandwich at a restaurant, knowing it was safe to drink out of the tap, etc. got me thinking more about how to take a trip with you in more than just your memories.

I gave myself a break on this trip and didn't keep a journal. I usually keep a rigid, task-oriented journal when I am away in the hopes of being able to relive the trip over and over again in the future. It wasn't that I didn't want to capture this trip, it was more of an experiment, and an effort to give myself a break. I liked it. It was easier to think my own thoughts without agonizing over whether I would sound whiny or silly in decades to come as I referred back to my journal entries. I had more time to think of things outside of what was at hand. I even had times when I thought about nothing.

It's different being back home, but I think it's getting easier to take people and experiences with me in a way that is more than trivial. I know it will take me more practice to really grasp and live out that whole "world citizen" concept, but I'm getting there. Thanks for checking in!

I'll be posting more photos soon, but here is one that I liked and wanted to share. These girls were part of the group I referenced in my last blog post.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome Back! Great post and picture. Can't wait to see more!

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