I have been back home for almost three weeks now and the adjustment is still happening. The first day was the hardest. I went to the barn that I have volunteered at for the past eight years to see everybody. It is a place that is like a second home to me and I have always felt welcome. That day I felt like an outsider, a stranger and uncomfortable. I knew that there had been changes while I was gone and even though I kept in contact with the people there it was weird. They didn’t’ seem to know what to say to me and I didn’t really know what to say to them. There was a lot of awkward silences. I wanted to tell them all about my experiences abroad, yet I knew that they didn’t want to be bored by them so it was hard to initiate a conversation. That day just got more stressful when I went to Wal Mart to pick up some groceries for my mom. I did not think a store could be so overwhelming. There were so many options and brands. In England there were one or two brands of most items at Wal Mart there were eight different types of bread, four different kinds of cherry tomatoes and an entire aisle full of soup. I just grabbed exactly what was on my list as fast as possible and left. Checking out also was weird. They gave me about ten plastic bags for my items, where in England I would have put all of that into two bags and a backpack. Talk about a waste of plastic bags. That first day back was the hardest for me, but after that things started to get easier. Going to Wal Mart is now no big deal, although I do bring my own reusable bags with me and the barn is like my second home again. Driving my car to the store instead of walking is also now part of my routine and even though I miss public transportation I enjoy having a car again. It is so much easier to get places.
One big thing I am glad about was that my family came to visit me at the end of my semester and we travelled around together for a few weeks. This was nice because by the time I got home I was used to being around them again and not on my own, making the transition to living with them again easier.
Having been home for a few weeks life is pretty much back to normal. There are occasionally things that pop up that are nothing like when I was abroad, but I am able to handle them without stressing out