• Coming Home to America – Reverse Culture Shock

    After traveling for the past 3 years (mostly in Asia), I have returned to the place where I was born and grown: Connecticut, USA. I would have continued what I was doing: volunteering, teaching yoga, and exploring foreign places, but my bank account directed me back. Also, I missed my family (friends included) and the familiarity.

    I thought that I would be overwhelmed by people trying to meet up and hear all about my adventures. That people were eagerly waiting for my return. But it wasn’t exactly like that. Just my mom crying at the airport. And seeing some friends and relatives here and there.

    My 20-year-old brother is more interested in his new kitten than catching up with his long lost sister. And it feels like I have to twist arms to get people to make time for me. Unanswered calls. Delayed responses. Scheduling. It is not as easy to flow here.

    People have gone on with their lives in the same manner. While I feel like I have been whipped around in a hurricane of rainbows and storms in lands far, far away that they could only fathom as a fairy tale.

    And that’s what it feels like. Everything that I had experienced has been lost in the winds of time and I am stuck here, in cement, as I wait for the clock to tick forward. It is gray and quiet here. Like there are underground, rushing waterfalls repressed by designer clothes and cars and overpriced, rented apartments.

    Americans pay a lot for everything. And what they don’t realize is that they are living in luxury. Air conditioning, potable water from the tap, washing machines, no sounds of geckos mating at night. But it comes with a price…Read More

  • Why Do I Feel Guilty? – H O M E S I C K N E S S

    You want to see the world, but that means leaving the people you love, your comforts, stability, familiarity, and routines. For me, this is exactly the reason to explore new horizons: for the change, excitement, and novelty. In fact, new places and new people draw me away.

    There have been many instances where homesickness has seeped into my blood stream. Usually when things aren’t going smoothly or there is something exciting going on at home. Please note, difficult times always pass, holidays and birthdays pass, and home becomes boring again. Everything changes.

    I have three younger brothers: ages 5, 8, and 19 years old. I am the oldest sister, but I am never around. I am always half way across the world. The 19-year-old and I mostly communicate to each other by sending memes on Instagram. I can’t even directly communicate with the youngest two. I told my Dad to tell them that I said Goodnight and I love you one evening and he replied that the youngest forgot who I was. I hope that’s not true, but it shatters my heart.

    I am guilty of not being around for my brothers. There will always be times when they need me, but I am not there. Interestingly, I am a kindergarten teacher, surrounded by young children, teaching them and giving them my love, yet I don’t do this for the two children whom I share a father with.

    How do I deal with this guilt?

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