Embracing the American Life

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November 4, 2013 by ebostick1212

You could say that being abroad for five years has changed me, but I don’t think that is necessarily true.  Whenever I am back in the US, I fall back into a familiar American place, and no amount of travel will change that.  Some things are just ingrained within me, by now.  Here are some things that I reverted to almost immediately when I got home.


1.  I am a workaholic–  I said ‘so long’ to the siesta as soon as I stepped back down on American soil.  As a new teacher, I cannot afford to siesta every afternoon.  I know people think teachers don’t work hard.  They get out at 3:00, and have summers off, right?  Not so true.  I never take a break.  I plan and grade during weekends, and work all week.  While every so often I long for a siesta, my American mentality kicks in, and I get over it.

This is my life.

This is my life.


2.  I drink ridiculous amounts of coffee–I have enthusiastically embraced the 20 ounce cup of coffee.  This is the fuel for my workaholism.  I know that other cultures don’t lug around giant mugs, but I do now, and I love it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a strong espresso or a leche manchada like any other Spaniard, but there is something comforting about Wawa’s hot, watery sludge.

This is a daily occurrence.    Yes.  That is 20 ounces.

This is a daily occurrence. Yes. That is 20 ounces.


3.  I drive everywhere–I will be honest, I wish I could change this.  I really enjoyed being within walking distance of everything last year.  Now I live in the center of Fredericksburg, but I still have to drive to work, and to the store, and to the bank.  I try to bike, and walk where I can, but there is no getting around the huge amounts of driving.

Setting off on my road trip.

Setting off on my road trip.


4.  I eat Chipotle–Chipotle is delicious.  Yeah, tapas were great, but you can’t beat those huge burritos, and tasty guacamole.  Living in Spain, I would have mail ordered Chipotle if I could.  I have definitely earned some jerk points for ordering with a Spanish accent.




5. I call people.  All. The. Time.–In Spain, I had a cheapo pay-as-you-go phone, with little to no battery life.  Needless to say, I never used it.  It was a portable text message machine, because calling a person meant throwing away a ton of money.  Now that I have a ‘real’ phone, I am reaping the benefits.  1400 free minutes? Unlimited data?  I have finally entered the modern world!

My old phone.  Basically an expensive alarm clock.

My old phone. Basically an expensive alarm clock.


So, I have settled quite well into American life.  After all, it is my own.  It is my culture, and I love it. The good things, and the bad things.  After so many years living in so many places, my own culture seems quite fluid, and I can adapt to the culture around me.  Yet when I head home, my own culture always solidifies.




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