Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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Happiness With or Without

laneprycesuicide diamonds

My kind of diamonds

“I feel like I just went to my own funeral. I didn’t like the eulogy.” Lane Pryce, Mad Men.

(Note: I started this post before the Lane Pryce’s suicide on Mad Men but finished it after. The show got me thinking about happiness and how many Americans connect it to work and wealth, such capricious things.)

Happiness is strange. I feel it when the moment is already slipping passed; it’s like trying to grasp a kite string. Like when I am about to move again or when I am on my way back from a trip and I look out the airplane window:

You know what, I was happy there in that place, on that beach. That was nice.

And there it goes.

“You’ll never think your life is easy”

mad men worker bee

I hope this bee notices how pink this flower is. Amazing!

I don’t know who said this, but it’s so true.
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Reverse Culture Shock? 5 Things to Remember

quebec city, new france, place royale

From New France

To

central park

The Good Old’ USA

I should mention that I don’t live in New York or on a Central Park bench the way this picture would have you believe. A month ago, I moved back to Seattle where I write in my pjs and dream of more travel.

The repat experience goes like this: You have a favorite pair concert tee-shirt that you haven’t worn since high school (for me – the band Rancid is a perfect example). You pull it over your head only to find out that your body has changed. And you’re now questioning the band’s logo: are they still cool? Am I still way into them?

The answer is both Yes and No. Because you have changed. You no longer live for punk, identify yourself as a punk, you just like it. You’ve found new bands and even though you can still recite all the words to Timebomb, your mohawk has turned into a faux-hawk and you’ve traded in those combat boots for chuck taylors.

Quebec might be cold, but the people are warm. There’s no pressure to buy, less pressure to work, and everyone is really polite and soft-spoken. It contrasts sharply with the U.S. even though it’s on the same continent.

I love America, I love being an American, but when I went back, I felt a wave of reverse culture shock. Everyone seemed so loud and in a hurry. No more quaint epicuries. No more watching street circus acts in the middle of the afternoon. No more charming outdoor terraces.

Repatriot Tips:

1. Don’t talk about your experience abroad unless people ask. It’s boring. No one really wants to know what kind of cookies they have in your host country and how you can’t find them here. They really don’t understand and you come across as that pretentious-live-abroad asshole. Trust me. I’ve been on the other side of this many times.

2. Don’t bring a lot of stuff back. I moved back to Seattle and I am still sorting through the boxes, plus all that junk I put in storage. Purchase one or two cool souvenirs – a rug, a painting, something you can look at everyday, and bring it back. Don’t go crazy trying to make your contemporary apartment look like a London flat.  Continue reading