It’s been ten days since my return to the USA. Just like those three months in England, the last week and a half has passed too fast.
My return trip fared well. I left Manchester Airport around 10a.m. England time and, after an hour layover in Chicago, arrived at Rochester at 4:30p.m. Eastern/Standard time.
In my opinion, the return trip was better than my flight over. My flights were on time, the airport waiting times proved short and the on-board meals tasted delicious. Another highlight occurred viewing the snow-covered landscape of Western New York (State) from the sky.
Since I had a daytime flight, I didn’t return to the United States feeling as sleep-deprived as I had going over to England. The first few days back, though, I felt exhausted around 7p.m., my England-adjusted body thinking it was midnight. Let’s just say I had no trouble falling asleep those first few nights.
Three days after my return, the day after Christmas, a massive snowstorm blanketed us (and most of New York State) with at least 14 inches of snow. I saw this as Mother Nature’s way of acknowledging my return from a country that receives little snowfall: sending a snowy surprise my way.
Initially, I was unsure about whether or not I would be able to adjust back to American customs. After twelve weeks of living in England, the small cars, narrow roads and the concept of opposites became normal for me. However, I found that the readjustment process came easy for me. Driving felt the weirdest, marveling at the wide roads and big cars we have. Weeks of riding around in foreign cars half the size of my Buick on small roads had definitely altered my perception a bit.
Using money has been an interesting transition. Compared to the United Kingdom’s money, with their colorful pound notes and cool-shaped coins, American currency looks boring now. However, I am glad to be back in a country where the dollar is equal to a dollar.
My feelings about returning have been jumbled. Seeing my family and spending Christmas was great, after not seeing most of them in person since September. I know that as time passes, though, I’ll start missing England and everybody I met more and more. Fortunately, in these modern times, we have the Internet to keep in contact, something not possible for people just years ago.
January 14th is the day I start classes back at my home university here in the United States: St. Bonaventure University. I know that after nine straight months of not being there, attending classes and doing assignments will feel foreign at first. It will especially come with the contrast of the scheduling and work load. At Edge Hill, I only had a certain module once a week, while at Bonaventure; I have the same class three days a week.
The one experience that I’ve been having since I’ve returned, as I’m sure everybody else who has studied abroad has, is answering questions from people. Friends and family have inquired about my trips: how it was, where I went, what I did and did I take pictures. I have to admit, travelling around Europe has made for a refreshing and interesting topic of conversation. It breaks the clichéd “What’s up” response “nothing much” by replacing it with the phrase “I just got back from spending three months in England.” How many people expect to hear that as a response?