It’s been a little less than three months since I returned to the developed world and at times it still feels like I’m just getting back. I’ve settled back in to my comfortable life in Southern California for possibly the easiest summer I’ve had yet and honestly it’s been really great to be back. Still, there are many challenges that arise almost daily as my multiple perspectives fail to align. There are wants, needs, and so many “issues” that people create here for themselves that just don’t exist in Kathmandu. I’ve come home to pressures very similar to those I felt years ago when I was still in highschool to be as social as possible; almost a fear of being alone. I’ve never quite understood our society’s emphasis on social involvement as a form of an indulgence than an interaction. Despite language barriers, interactions abroad seemed infinitely more meaningful than the trite complaints and babble-ings I overhear when I walk to the beach. What’s stranger are the reactions I get when I greet and issue a “How’s your day going?” to the same passerby. Most people are cordial but respond as if saying “What are YOU trying to gain from this?”
Aside from the difference in social interactions there is definitely a sense of having too much control over my day to day life. A huge challenge I faced upon my return was a saddening lack of daily challenge. Life is terribly easy here; and where I would have said before that I long for the “simplicity” of the developing world, I now long for it’s infinitely exciting complexity and unpredictability. I’m sure when I move to a new state this Fall to transfer schools I will certainly met with new and exciting challenges but until I travel again I won’t have the feeling of waking up with zero expectations for the day ahead. That’s the beauty of the unexpected: every single moment is a mystery being unveiled. I guess I’ll just have to expedite my return to the developing world to satisfy my craving for the unexpected!
This wasn’t supposed to be written as more of a reflection than an advice post, but since I’m writing I might as well advise you!! If you are lucky enough to go abroad, don’t let yourself fall into a lull when you return. America is easy, so don’t be afraid to add some challenge!
I miss our entire semester family, I’ll need to visit you all soon!
Here’s (http://vimeo.com/68109465) the video I made, enjoy the rest of your Summer!