I had this idea in my head that reverse culture shock was going to be the hardest task to handle once I got back to Michigan. I thought about not hearing French spoken in the streets or not having my beloved metro. I thought about how loud it was going to be (we Americans really are loud) and overall I thought the first week was going to be hell.
Then that first week came and went the same way the others did. I sat on my couch and felt like instead of being in France, I had just spent the last five months in Charleston at school like every other semester. Paris started to feel like a dream, another world than the one I was currently in. That’s when it hit me. Reverse culture shock wasn’t the hardest part, it barely existed for me. The hardest part was returning to a place that I love but have outgrown.
I spent my time in France learning about a different culture through a different language and slowly started making it more and more of a home. Now over a month later and officially moved back into my apartment, I’m slowly getting back into my old habits. That’s the easiest part, going back and doing all the things you’ve done for years. The hard part has been stopping myself from maxing out my credit card with a flight back to Europe.
I’ve learned that the best thing to do when faced with this problem is continuing to do what I love. I’ve started looking at it like a pause from exploring, to regroup until the next time I go out adventuring. Michigan is just as much of a home to me as a backpack and a train ticket are and that makes being in Michigan, Charleston, Europe, or wherever I go an adventure.