Chris from the UK spent one year in California in Palo Alto from September 2008 until September 2009. She accompanied her husband a visiting scholar to Stanford. Chris was so kind to share some thoughts with us about her time in California and about the time when she returned to London:
“I wish it had been there (California) before I arrived. It is also a good idea to give people some warning of what it is like to go home. It was difficult for me and I felt like my whole experience had just been a dream. I really missed my new friends and found it hard to just pick up my old life and go on as if nothing had happened. I found it odd that people weren’t really interested in how I had got on. Also some people didn’t realise I had gone and just said they thought they hadn’t seen me for a while!
The trouble is that you have done so much and had so many new experiences, but at home, life has gone on the same and it is like time stood still. When I went back to my old gym, I saw the same people waiting for the same classes and it makes you realise how much more you can do with your life if you just try a bit harder. Now I have slipped back to the old ways and don’t like that feeling either.
On the other hand, your friends have also got used to you not being around and it is hard for them to suddenly incorporate you back into their lives. They want to, but somehow they don’t think of it.
So it takes time and sometimes I think it will never be quite the same again, which is a shame but I wouldn’t give up my year in California for anything. It was fantastic.”
Thanks Chris for sharing with us your thoughts.