On December 1st, I boarded the plane that officially ended my time abroad. Since then, I’ve been trying to readjust to life back in the U.S and here are some things that caught me by surprise.
1. Security coming back was intense, but not in the U.S
While boarding my flight from the UAE to Philadelphia, I had to go through three security lines, got randomly searched twice and had to get my laptop tested for explosives. After that experience I thought going through customs in the U.S would be a hassle, but they just checked my passport and let me back in.
2. You may feel like you never left
Once I got back to Philly and reunited with my family I couldn’t help but feel like everything was the same. I thought it would feel weird to walk around my neighborhood, but it honestly doesn’t feel any different.
3. Jet-lag is real
I always thought jet-lag was a myth. When I first arrived in South Africa, I my body adjusted very quickly. Coming back home, however, was more rough. I found myself waking up at 3 in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep. I would also feel exhausted in the afternoon because my body was still on South African time, where it would have been past midnight. From what I’ve heard, I expected it to only last a day or two, but I’ve realized that it will time some time for my body to adjust.
I can’t help but miss the Rand. Its no secret that the cost of living in South Africa is way cheaper than in the U.S. I had a very interesting time at the supermarket, unable to believe the price of a pack of strawberries.
5. Different Climate
Coming from summer weather to the winter will definitely impact you. I caught a minor cold upon returning, although thanks to global warming, it hasn’t been too cold.