I was clicking through my old posts, reminiscing and smiling in that way you do when you have a warm memory and I realized- it had been months since I had written! It's time for an update and briefing on the direction of this fabulous 3 year project:
As of October 22nd, 2013, I repatriated back to Portland, Oregon. This was of course a decision that was made years ago when I originally packed my 2 suitcases and jetsetted to France. 3 years later, as I packed up my life of 3 years in France, I realized that I had truly changed as a person.
3 years ago, I was freaked out and worried about not being able to wander around in beat-up plastic flip flops. 3 years later, I couldn't even imagine owning a pair, even if every single person in Portland has a pair they proudly flop around in.
The use of a knife during dinner, the American jokes, the mis-understandings in English, bar scene, the weird dating scene...
So the project is continuing but I will be treating a topic that is often left on the back burner and truly could prove of use- the Backwards Culture Shock.
As noted, most international story blogs end with the person moving home... but we all know, especially if you have lived overseas, that this is not necessarily possible. There are constantly little things that make you think of your other culture, the one you learned to fit and adjust into.
How can you handle the backwards culture shock?
Specifically, how can you continue to live French while being in America?
These topics and more will be developed over the period of my repatriating experience... especially since in the 3+ years I've been away, Portland has become a foreign city in it's own right.