Wednesday, October 7, 2015


 I had a week to recover from JET lag before starting my first day at work

 The JET Handbook has a small chapter dedicated to reverse culture shock, but I'll sum it in one sentence: no one cares about your JET experience. That sounds pretty harsh but the reality is that most people will not be able to relate to the experience despite finding it interesting.

I was back to where I started, physically, but I was a different woman than the one who boarded a plane over two years ago. If I could visit my past self, I'd give her a big hug. And then a small shove to toward the plane because we'd create some sort of disaster when seeing each other...what was I talking about?

Oh yea! As you learned from this post,  I secured a good job before my return and I focused all of my energy in setting up my life in Miami. Unfortunately, that was more expensive than what I previously imagined; no thanks to my cat, Tiger, and his visit to the veterinarian the day after my arrival. Oh Tiger. But I managed.

My first real moment of reverse culture shock occurred on my first day of work. I was so overwhelmed with the newness of everything that I looked at my Taketomi star sand and said, "Was I really there?" I  realized that I was no longer an English teacher in Japan and, weirdly, my experience felt like a dream. Another moment of reverse culture shock occurred at the grocery store. I idiotically made the mistake entering a Super Walmart. I felt completely overwhelmed and left without buying any food because there were too many unhealthy choices.

I've previously stated that I hate change. Now, I know that I can handle any unknown situation as long as I focus on the benefits. I can also cope with change by creating a routine, one that ultimately benefits me. That right! Your girl as gone all philosophical! So if you're wondering, I can handle the supermarket now.

I wasn't too worried about my social life when I returned because my birthday fell on the weekend that I returned. I was use to "chill" nights every weekend with my OkiLocos, but it was great to go out with my ladies and have THE WORST BIRTHDAY EVER! My all-time-favorite restaurant really let me down in more ways that one. And the following day of snorkeling was 5% LESS OF A DISASTER! When did Jellyfish season start in Florida? It was great seeing my friends and catching up with people I haven't seen in forNEVER! They've really helped smooth my transition back home and I can't thank them enough. Thanks you guys!

Right now, I am focused on growth - both professionally and personally. I told my friend the other day about an event that I want to attend and she said, "Lmao, you're into that?" I replied, "The point is to try something new...I'm not trying to be that stubborn, crazy girl I use to be." Ok, I'll always be crazy and a bit stubborn and, although you'll never see me waste my money on a Miami Dolphins' game (DefinitelyNOTSorry), I want to be exposed to different things. Listen, I use to hate swimming and after Okinawa, I'm a mermaid. 

So my advice to JETs returning home:
  • Start your job search early
  • Meet with friends
  • Be a tourist in your own hometown
  • Focus on growth
  • Do you