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As you may know, my homeland is not the grand country of England – but rather the small and discreet pocket of the world called the United States of America.  For those not familiar with this country, it is broken up – not into districts – but states and my home is in a somewhat large state on the west coast, in a humble area natives like to call So Cal {short for Southern California}.  In this region there is a strikingly rich heritage of sun and we endeavour to see that this tradition continues to be celebrated by successive generations into our future.  The traditional fare is vast, but the most notable are the burrito and burger and I have yet to find a comparison.  Our people are uniquely kind and courteous and have a unequivocal way of making themselves known to the world – primarily through their modest and demure temperaments.  Hobbies include laying on the sand, staring in movies, going to the local gymnasium and perusing the Gap on a slow Monday morning.  Somehow the natives make do.

California beach sunset

Although I find the above amusing and slightly true – California is a bit more diverse and 3D than I allowed for in my description – {somehow} over my three-year stay in England, I am not as embarrassed of my State as maybe I once was.  Just last night I was talking to Mark about how I may not like all of the aspects of my culture – yes, aspects of it are blatantly uncaring of other people in the world, the environment, and my general moral standards – but my culture is something I know and find predictable and because of that I really like it.  I am starting to miss that particular aspect of life – knowing what to do and how to interpret situations.  I guess that’s how most people feel in a different culture when they are missing their own.

So, I am looking forward to moving back to the west coast of America.  We’ll be moving to Oregon in the north west, a place I’ve never lived but have visited a few times as my family are there now.  Hopefully sometime in August of this year we will be hauling all our earthly possessions onto a large bird across the Atlantic {and many other states} to our new home.  The thing that I am hoping to find when we settle in there is a renewed confidence in my surroundings, maybe some missed comforts, and to be able to draw on my experience in this culture here in England.  I am hoping my time here has made me a more dynamic Californian.  I will find it interesting to see which cultural values I have gained whilst being in England in contrast to Oregonian and Californian values.  Its not easy to see that from my vantage point now, but I am expecting bits to come out as we adjust there.

Whilst ‘proud’ is not usually my favourite term to use when describing my patriotism…I am feeling slightly more in that direction as I look forward to slipping back into some of the norms I am used to.  Just as I said that last line, REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK came catapulting through my head…any tips?!

Until next time…have a nice day! :)

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