The Reentry Dilemma

· by wendy · united states

I’ve been wondering, is returning home gonna be a shock to the system? On one hand, I’m excited to get back to some of the things I’ve missed. On the other hand, I don’t want to feel pressure to resume my American ways.

Hola! I Mean…Hello!

One of the things I’m not looking forward to is having a cell phone again. Between Dusty and I, we could be looking at $50-$100 added to our monthly bills. It was easy on the road. I didn’t have daily responsibilities or anyone to connect with that day. If I really needed to talk to someone, I’d just Skype them. There is also the issue of which phone to get. Does it just make sense to combine my iPod and phone by having an iPhone? I don’t really want all of that but it makes sense. A tiny, do nothing phone seems less overwhelming and less costly, though. Lastly, I am not looking forward to dealing with others and their cell phones. No one I’ve hung out with lately has had one and that was quite nice. Conversations weren’t interrupted by ringing or text messages. I never did like hanging out with someone while they continually texted someone else. I’m sure I’ll dislike it even more now since I’ve had a break from it for awhile.

I Totally HAVE To Have That

It’s time to buy new clothes, no doubt. Not out of want but need. My clothes and shoes all have holes and have been stretched out from the constant wear. Here’s the problem, I don’t want to care about whether someone else has seen me wear the same clothes over and over. I don’t have a wardrobe. I don’t have something for every occasion. Part of me thinks it would be cool to have that again. To have boots, flip flops, gym shoes, casual shoes, sandals, etc is nice. Spending money on all of them and storing them somewhere is not. I should not care what other people think, and mostly I don’t. But, when I’m hanging out with other girls in cute little outfits and I’m wearing my Old Navy tank for the 100th time, I know I’ll feel like a ragamuffin.

I’m not only worried about clothing, I’m also stressed about shopping in general. It’s not like there aren’t tons of stores offering everything under the sun in the countries we have visited. We just haven’t been in any social circles that “need” things. In fact, it’s been the exact opposite. Every person we have hung around has been a traveler who wants nothing to do with acquiring another item. It only meant you’d have to carry it on your back. Not appealing. I’m not looking forward to joining the crowd of people buying and surrounding themselves with things. I’m going to have to bite my tongue….often. I’m not very good at that.

In The Piehole

Eating is going to be huge. I’ll probably be huge because of it. I’m going to have to pace myself, just like I have done while traveling. Not every meal has to be an Argentine steak and wine, just like every meal at home doesn’t have to be wings and beer from BW’s. This is going to take some serious effort in self control. I’ll have to remember the simple meals we learned to love while on the road. Also, I’ll have to remember to share meals with Dusty. We started sharing out of need to stay under budget but later realized that it’s almost always enough food. If not, there was always ice cream to be had! ;)


When we were in La Paz, Bolivia, we weighed ourselves at a pharmacy. Since the results were in kilograms, I had no idea what the number meant. I later converted it to pounds and thought that certainly either the scale or Google’s conversions had to be wrong. I had lost 10 pounds!? Dusty also lost some weight! This was wonderful news, but the problem is that we didn’t try to lose weight. It must have been our new lifestyle of tons of walking and portion control due to sharing meals. The reason this is a problem is because I fear returning to the U.S. and my old lifestyle will also return me to my old weight or worse. We’ll have to remember that jumping in a car to get somewhere isn’t and doesn’t have to be the only option. We like walking, even if it takes extra time and results in a little sweatiness. I’m sure we’ll get some strange looks when we tell people we’re walking to the grocery store or to BW’s. We’ll make a conscious effort to bring deodorant with us if we are meeting anyone.

Unfortunately, only time will tell. I hope the stress of re-entry into “real life” isn’t too great. Knowing myself it will be a tough task to keep my comments to myself. To my friends and family: If you catch me hiding at home or in another room, it’s likely that I just needed a self imposed time-out. It’s for your own good. :)

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