I come from a land with a reputation for cowboys, football, big hair, and twangy accents. I’ve come to a land where monks outnumber cowboys; football is played with a black and white ball; hair is straight and jet black; and the language sounds like you’re in trouble.
This Texan moved to Taiwan. I ride a scooter now instead of driving an SUV. I drink milk tea instead of Mountain Dew. I now speak slowly, deliberately, and use body language more than a professional mime. When we play Charades at home, I’m the one you want on your team because I’ve been practicing daily since late August 2010.
Well… I was. August 2012 found me on a plane, all my possessions in suitcases, bound for Dallas. I was moving back, no job lined up, no plan mapped out. When my family met me at baggage claim, it didn’t feel real; it was like moving back negated the previous two years, like I’d never lived in Taiwan.
It was weird. It was incredibly hard. I ended up in therapy because of it. Reverse culture shock, at least for me, was worse than culture shock.
Now I live and work in Dallas. My goal is to move somewhere more inspiring in the next couple of years. Until then, I enjoy my job, I love living near friends and family, and my apartment is my little slice of comfort in this big, crazy world.
My next adventure, hopefully, is right around the corner.