It’s been about two weeks today since I first landed at O’Hare, eager to zoom through immigration, retrieve my luggage, and walk through the international arrivals door to see my family almost four and a half months after bidding them farewell. It was such a relief to see them, especially after a long day of traveling that by the grace of God went smoothly, given the short and busy time frame of the day. But I arrived safely, and the following week was filled with homecomings, family dinners, catching up with friends, and eating all my favorite food (cheese - oh how I’ve missed you).
There wasn’t a huge sense of reverse culture shock that I was expecting when I came back to the U.S. Maybe it was because I visited Singapore before I came home and got a sense of what a westernized city feels like. I did feel weird, however, when I drove back to Madison. When I arrived in the city I felt very much like an outsider, as if I wasn’t a student or resident of Madison. But within a day I was back into the groove of things and felt at home again. A visit to the terrace probably helped with that too.
Merlion statue with Singapore skyline
Archways at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Gardens by the bay
Although I am extremely happy to be back, there are still things I miss about Thailand. The food is probably the main thing. I thought it would be awhile before I started to crave it again, but it only took two weeks. The city life is something I also miss. Bangkok had an energy--the noise, the constant movement, the people—that is a large contrast to the calm and quiet of Wisconsin. I realized within my last few weeks of being in Thailand that I had finally gotten the hang of things to the point where I felt comfortable being there, and then it was time for my journey to end. Now I can take what I have learned and experienced and share it with others, just as I have done through my posts.
I hope I have been able to show you how amazing Thailand is, and that I have inspired you to visit it one day. It was a big risk I took in studying abroad in such a different environment, but that is what made it all the better. Thank you for following along, and have an excellent summer!
Enjoying the Memorial Union Terrace