Top Ten Sources of Culture Shock Coming Back to the States

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Top Ten Sources of Culture Shock Coming Back to the States

We’ve been home now for nearly two months now. It’s been enough time to get back into the swing of things here, but we are still recognizing how different our lives are now that we’re back in San Francisco with a home to take care of, a job to commute to, social obligations to attend to, and a to-do list that never seems to get done. Frankly, it’s been a rough adjustment. Here are the top ten differences that we noticed between life on the road and life at home:

10) Speed it up! The pace of life seems like it’s on double-time compared to how we lived traveling through the developing world. We used to plan just one activity a day. Life in the States is structured by hourly activities, meetings, and events. We’re constantly feeling behind and exhausted. What happened to the four hours a day that we used to spend exercising, meditating, and doing yoga?

9) “I’ll take it to go.” To keep up with this fast-paced life, I’ve noticed how much people have to eat on the run. In the developing world, people sit down for meals at home. There is no such thing as coffee cups to go. I’ve found myself already eating meals in the car, on Muni, and while I’m walking. Jenni and I already dropped the 8 pounds we each gained by no longer having three two-hour meals a day.

8 ) Online all the time. Imagine walking around without a cell phone. Well, we did just that for a year. There were even times when we didn’t have internet connection for over a week. But as soon as I got back, I got my an iPhone and realized that I could check my email every hour if I wanted to. At any moment, people can call, message, facetime, or phone me. I’m trying to figure out just how connected I want to be.

7) LGBT Pride season. Coming home during Pride season was quite a culture shock after traveling last in Peru, a place where LGBT life is still under the radar. Even the San Francisco public buses had their LCD screens say “Equality for All” during Pride week. While we’ve been so used to being the only gay people around this year, we hardly stand out in San Francisco. it seems like everyone is a little gay in this city.

6) “Honey, I’m home.” Returning to work,