The day I left New Zealand was a hard day. You should have seen me on the airplane leaving Auckland, face pressed against the window, sobbing like a little kid, taking in my last glimpse of the country.
Five minutes later I was fast asleep and the rest of the flight went without a hitch.
And then I landed in San Francisco and my brain went bonkers. Who knew reverse culture shock was such a bitch?
Land in San Francisco. Desperately want to find a pair of earplugs to distract me from the influx of hash American accents raping my earballs. Meet my Airbnb host. Need food. Find a cafe that serves iced coffee without ice cream and a good bagel with cream cheese for less than $5. *swoon*. Try walking around the Mission District and miss 3 crosswalks because there’s no sound to notify you it’s time to cross. HOW WILL I EVER KNOW HOW TO CROSS THE STREET AGAIN?!?! (Hear the New Zealand noise here just skip to 0:53.)
See the Ferry Building. Meet my besties from Auckland. Have a bit of a cry and a hug. Go to Fisherman’s Wharf. Am terrified by the number of drug users and homeless people. Fear New Zealand has turned me into a wimp.
Walking tour of the Tenderloin. Big mistake. Regret my decision immediately to move back to the States. Have a bit of a cry and a hug.
Rest of the day is filled with shaking my imaginary cane at too big cars, bad drivers, loud American teenagers and shaking my fist over the fact that no one seems to take debit cards. I MISS EFTPOS.
Call my New Zealand bank to close my account. Woman at ASB asks about my trip home, wishes me well and calls me ‘love’. Call my US bank. Woman at Wells Fargo gives me attitude, smacks her gum and tries to sell me shit I don’t need.
Realize I am slowly turning into one of those crazy ex-expats who can’t talk about anything other than living abroad.
First day at work. Reminded why I moved here. Get a hug from the CEO and a myriad of other staff members. Start working right away and fall in love with the Couchsurfing offices and employees.
Am astounded by the speed of the internet, both on my computer and phone. Am starting to remember the things I missed. Namely, grocery stores. Why, hello there Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. I love you.
Friday night happy hour at work. Meet awesome people and hear traveler’s stories from around the world. Feel very, very lucky. Fall asleep at 9pm.
Hike all the way from downtown San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge and to Point Bonita Lighthouse. Around 10 miles. The sun is shining, people are friendly and I walk with a girl who just moved from Berlin and a guy from France. Remind myself that this is a new adventure, just like all the other countries I’ve moved to.
I move into my new apartment today. It’s finally real.