When we returned back to the states I was both ecstatic and hesitant. For the last three years and for practically all of my married life, we had lived in Korea and taught English. I was returning to a place that I knew well but yet at the same time felt completely different and where we would lead completely different lives than we had been. We came back to the land of Targets, discount stores, vast shopping markets with every type of food you could ever hope for, family, friends, and the land of convenience. So why was I not thrilled? To be honest, I’m wasn’t sure where I belonged anymore. As much as America remained my culture, I have adapted many more cultural aspects along the way in the past three years. I missed seeing weird and bizarre new foods in the stores, being able to speak a second language (albeit, not very well) and being able to experience something new almost every day.
I should have known it was coming. After all, I have known plenty of expats that have returned back home and discussed reverse culture shock. The truth of the matter is, I didn’t think it would happen to me. When we moved to Korea, we expected culture shock. We welcomed it with open arms as we walked down the streets of our small town and soaked up the different, the weird and the down right bizarre around us. But pretty soon, all those new sites and sounds became perfectly normal for us and it started to feel like home. But when we discussed moving back home to the States, I really expected to show up and think ‘now this feels like home’. But it didn’t. At all. I’ve been reading a lot from different expats that have all made the transition home and the best explanation of it is it’s like returning to a place that is exactly the same and completely different at the same time. Confusing huh? I feel so blessed to be welcomed back to the states with open arms by an amazing support system of friends and family. But while everything around me was familiar, it was also equally confusing. To be honest, I’ve grown used to the fact that I have felt most at home in the past three years when I was completely out of my element. But now, thankfully, after two months in this ‘foreign’ land, it’s finally beginning to feel like home. We’ve met new people, set down roots (as much as we can when we’re leaving again when the RV is finished), played tourist again in our town and finally stopped doing the automatic head bow to people.
But right before leaving Korea I began thinking about what I wanted to do when I returned back to the States and if that included continuing the blog. And that’s when I started getting this gut feeling. And as time went on and as we transitioned back to the states and started to feel like home, the nagging gut feeling continued. You know the one I’m talking about. Those undeniable gut feelings that make your stomach twist every time you think about it? Maybe it was about something that you should do, or more commonly, something you shouldn’t do? Or maybe it was just gas…I don’t know. I admit, I’m not the prime example for listening to those little moral indicators. So when I continually had the gut feeling to close down the blog, when it was constantly in the back of my mind…I ignored it. I ignored it for a good three months until it was so strong that I knew that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. But I have come to learn that more times than not, when you stop and listen to what your gut is telling you, that it is more rewarding in the long run. I just feel as though I need to focus my attention elsewhere for the time being and not try to split it up. So now the time has come to say goodbye.
It’s been three years since I started this little corner of the internet that I’ve called my own and grown so attached to; and only about a year since I really started taking it seriously. Aka, finding readers outside of my family. Through that I not only learned more about myself, my love of writing and running a blog, but I also started expanding my readers and meeting amazing people around the world; some that I’ve been able to meet in person and others that I plan on meeting in the very near future (they just don’t know it yet. They will when a 30 foot RV pulls up in front of their house). I found a community. I found people that even though we had never met, we connected and formed friendships. Being an expat is an amazing experience but as I’ve said before, it’s not always passports and rainbows. There is difficulty and heartache beyond the adventures. But the blogging community was my solace and where I found numerous others going through the same thing that I could confide in and find comfort through. And for that along with the friendship, support, love and encouragement over the years, I thank you. I have truly found a very welcoming and supportive community through blogging and have loved getting to know all of you that have followed along on our adventure.
So thank you Lost in Travelers. It’s been a hell of a ride and we’re just getting started.
Be sure to keep in touch and follow along on Instagram and Twitter where I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on our transition back to the states, renovations of the RV, our life on the road and some other fun projects I have up my sleeve.