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A Little Life Update

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Greetings from AMERICA! As many of you might already know, I'm back in good ol' Washington State. I'm spending two months at home in Seattle suburbia before heading back to Madrid for a second year of teaching abroad. It feels good to be home, but it's also been a strange adjustment. So, I'm taking a quick break from Greece posts to update you all on what's going on in the upper left USA:

Reverse Culture Shock is a real thing.

What do you mean I have to pay TEN DOLLARS for a glass of wine? Why is everyone so nice here? Why are strangers asking me how my day is going? How do I tip? Why is everything so big? Do I remember how to drive? How is it possible to buy everything you need in one place? Why aren't the stores closing after lunch? NOTHING IS ANY MAKING SENSE, YOU GUYS.

Wide open spaces? What are those?

Jet lag is overrated.

Friends from the east coast, you have no idea how much I envy you. This nine hour time difference is a giant fun-suck. The full 24 hours of travel didn't help either. I know this is what I signed up for, so I have no right to complain... but "zombie" really isn't a good look on me. Bring on the Melatonin.

I turn 24 in three days.

...and I just found my first gray hair. Cue panic attack. And to make matters worse, I still haven't received my acceptance letter from Hogwarts. What's up with that?

I know how I'll be celebrating this year.

I already miss Spain.

A lot more than I thought I would, quite honestly. While I'm soaking up everything that I've missed about home - like kale salads, Nordstrom, chardonnay, and being able to leave the house in work out clothes without being publicly scorned - I'm realizing that I miss the heart & soul of Madrid so much more than I missed these random comforts of home. But at the same time, it feels SO good to be reunited with my friends and family. Can't I just bring everyone I know and love to Madrid with me?


I miss you, perfect balcony view. See you in two months!


Fellow expats: do you have any tips for dealing with these weird transitions? 
How do you handle having more than one place to call home? 
Please share your wisdom with me!
16 comments on "A Little Life Update"
  1. Each place in your life will become "home" in a different way and it's more than ok to keep them all! :)

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  2. Each place has so many great things to offer. We are so lucky to get to experience both of them =) Happy early birthday!

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  3. ...Bahaha--the real question is, "Why are Spaniards so SMALL???"...And rock your workout duds with pride!!...

    Um, I'm confused on the whole tipping thing (even after having been to Europe thrice, now)--isn't it supposed to be included in the bill???...

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    1. Haha! Spaniards are so small due to a combination of magic genetics and one too many cigarettes. How is it possible to stay so thin with SO MANY POTATOES?!? It's something I will never understand. Along with tipping. I'll never understand that either.

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  4. Going from the 19 million people big-city life of Istanbul to the semi-farmlands of my parents suburb in Texas was pretty shocking for me. What are these green things? Trees and grass? What????

    I think the hardest thing for me to stop doing in America is to not say, "In [country] they do this!" I feel myself getting pedantic.

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    1. Oh gosh I can imagine going from Istanbul to Texas was a HUGE shock to your system! And I completely agree, it's really hard to stop myself from comparing the US to Spain in every given situation. Most of my friends from home haven't been there, so they could really care less. Thankfully I can text my friends from Spain and vent when I need, because they are equally enraged by the preposterous prices of wine in America!

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  5. Welcome home!! I found myself nodding with everything you said. Except that 9-hour time difference...what a buzz kill!
    One thing I've tried to do is imitate some lifestyle habits I had in Europe. For example, I reallyyyyyy miss markets and eating super fresh. So I've tried to find some here and have been shopping mostly in the produce sections at stores. Sometimes little things help ease the pain. I tried to adopt the siesta but my boss wasn't too fond of that idea :)

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    1. Ah yes that's a great idea! I will definitely take your advice on that. Although I'm sorry to hear that your boss wasn't too keen on the whole siesta idea :( Such a bummer!

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  6. hahahah the nice people are freaking you out? I'm embracing it so much! I keep telling everyone who asks me how I'm liking being at home again, "AMERICANS ARE SO NICE YOU GUYS." But, I know exactly how you feel! Leaving Spain always sucks, no matter how short or long you will be gone. But embrace those glasses of Chardonnay and the ability to wear workout clothes wherever you want. You know you'll miss em again when you leave. Miss you friend! xoxo

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    1. Yep, the nice people are totally freaking me out. I don't even know why. And last night at happy hour I completely forgot to tip, and then my friends called me out on it and I felt like a giant idiot. AMERICA IS HARD

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  7. The one thing I do is Never ever compare places. I also never play the game of it's 9pm there 3pm here what would I be doing if I were there. I think it's awesome that you miss Madrid! That's a good sign =)

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    1. Thank you! I'm hoping it is a good sign!

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  8. I've been there with the reverse culture shock, it is SO weird!
    I hope you have a lovely birthday when it rolls around :)

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