How Living Abroad for Five Years Refreshed My Love for the US

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July 18, 2013 by ebostick1212

I feel like I blinked my eyes five years ago, and with my eyes closed, experienced five whirlwind years in Europe in a split second.  When I opened them, I landed back down in the United States, with a whole new perspective.
matunuck
I can’t believe that it has been five years, and I have learned to love the industrial grittiness of Northern England, the hidden architectural treasures in France, and the ferocity of life in Andalucía.  Yet now, I am back in the United States, and it feels like something new.

I’ll be honest, when I left the States in 2008, I was strangely apathetic towards my own country.  I didn’t think the US was ugly, but it wasn’t interesting.  I had travelled to Europe before, and thought that the history and adventure was across the pond.
soamerican
Let’s say you were to only eat peanut butter sandwiches for an extended period of time.  It gets kind of boring, right?  I feel like that happened to me, while living in the backwoods of New England.  I saw the same streets, the same trees, and the same shops day after day after day.  I became numb to the beauty surrounding me.

It took five years, experiencing different culture, languages, and architecture to be able to come back and see the United States in a different light.

Now that I am back, and haven’t had a taste of peanut butter in years, I am ravenous for it, figuratively, (and maybe literally, too).  I have had a chance to return home, and see the beauty that was here waiting for me.  Believe it or not, I had this revelation on a bus to Boston.  We were puttering along 195, and all of a sudden I had this thought….‘Wow, I didn’t realize how beautiful this place is.’

narragansett
My mind is blown by the diversity of this country.  It isn’t something I experienced growing up in boring, white bread towns all my life.  Now I see it. I see the gorgeous coastlines of Rhode Island, the quaint colonial towns dotting the Eastern Seaboard, the flat plains of the Midwest, where you can look out and see for miles.  These things existed before, right before my eyes, but I didn’t notice them.

smalltownamerica
This upcoming year is going to be an adventure for me. Not only will I be starting my first ‘grown up job’, but I also will be able to become reunited with the country I left five years ago.  I want to see more.  This country is so big, and has so much to offer.  Now I have a chance to see the parts I never wanted to see before.

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One thought on “How Living Abroad for Five Years Refreshed My Love for the US

  1. It’s funny how traveling to a bunch of really exciting places can suddenly make home seem just as exciting too, isn’t it? Hope everything goes well back in the States!

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