Culture Shock Me Silly – Mar. 22, 2010

The flight was six hours late.

The two passengers next to me reeked of unwashed clothes and stale deodorant, an eleven-year-old girl in the aisle next to ours was constantly talking and a baby a couple of rows ahead cried through all 17 hours of the flight.

While me, a very short-tempered and travel-hating traveller, smiled and daydreamt through the entire flight.

Every summer when I go home, it’s like a whole new person.

Despite my feelings about travelling, there is a visible skip in my step as I lug my heavy bags from airport to airport.

Although I don’t see it very much, every year spent in Canada has changes me a little and this year will be no exception.

Along with a paler complexion and a new hairstyle, I’ll be taking home a lot more. So are all the other internationals who are heading home for the summer or for good.

Going home from a different country, we take back new ideas, new perspectives, new likes and dislikes and new friendships. We go home the same person, yet we’re so different from what we were before.

Those little things that we took for granted before are appreciated now.

Mum will have no trouble making me eat my veggies. After eating pasta and canned food for eight bloody months, she can put any form of home-cooked food in front of me and I’ll eat it.

I’ll make my bed, I’ll spend money wisely, I’ll wake up on time (ok, maybe not that), I’ll spend more time with my family, and spoil my little puppy rotten.

I’ve even started appreciating my country a lot more.

Many factors about my country were challenged, and being the patriot that I am, I defended my country like it was my last time.

My city, which I thought was so boring is now beautiful in my eyes.

Yes, it may be a small city (population: 1,620,000), but it’s home.

Our experiences abroad help us see our homes in a different light. The things you thought didn’t matter do matter.

The things you never thought of asking explanations for, you realize that they, in fact, do need explanation. The things you criticized, when compared to others, seem so much better/worse than you made them sound.

Every day spent in abroad is another day spent in somebody else’s shoes. Things don’t seem the same anymore.

And you know what? That’s good.

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