January 11, 2014


Hi Readers!

[In case my title confused you, it’s ‘Culture Shock’, written backwards, aka ‘Reverse Culture Shock’. Sometimes I like to think I’m creative and funny]

Wow, it’s been a while! The last time I wrote here, I was in Costa Rica! That’s so strange to think about. 3 weeks ago I was there, now I’m home, and in about 2 weeks, I’ll be back at Lafayette – crazy!

A bed and open suitcase beside it with clothes scattered about

I expected some return culture shock, but if there’s one thing I learned from being abroad, it’s the difference between expectations and experiences. Leaving Costa Rica definitely had its sad aspects, but in general, I felt eager and ready to return home.

For about the first day or two of being home, I was sort of in a state of awe at just about everything (sound a bit similar to my excitement upon arriving in Costa Rica?). I could do my own laundry (my clothes were legitimately dry!), just about any food I wanted was nearby (yogurt and apples have never tasted so good), my house was quiet (so quiet!), and I could be in contact with my family and friends easily and quickly with my phone or a quick drive (DRIVING!) down the street. I was even able to go to a ballroom social at my nearby studio the day after my return. It was such a heart-warming way to feel welcomed home. How fantastic! Life was good.

Elizabeth Murray does ballroom dancing with a smiling man.

Action shot!

I’m not saying life is bad now, but I’ve gone through some dips in the road, just as I had in Costa Rica. The U.S. ideal of constantly being in motion, scheduling, planning and just doing was a bit overwhelming. I was sort of thrown into the swirl of the holidays and by the end, after having talked to and been with so many people I hadn’t seen in so long, I was worn out. I spent a day pretty much sleeping and not wanting to be with anyone, but that was what I needed, and I bounced back.

I even went on a somewhat spur-of-the-moment road trip with my mother to Arkansas. We had been planning to fly to Little Rock for a family friend’s wedding, but the crazy weather cancelled all possible flights. Thus, a trip was born! And my traveling adventures continued. I wish we could have stayed longer and explored Arkansas and some of the places we drove through, but really I’m just grateful my mom and I were still talking by the end of it – 2500 miles in 4 days is a lot of time in a car.

Elizabeth Murray uses a brush to spread frosting on Christmas cookies ready for the oven

So happy to bake again!

Now with only a little over 2 weeks till my return to Lafayette, I’m feeling a great mix of emotions. Catching up with my home friends has been so wonderful, and it’s always sad to ‘despedirse’ (or ‘say good bye’ I haven’t completely gotten out of the habit of using some Spanish words…), but I am super excited to see my Lafayette friends again. It’ll feel a little strange moving into my room halfway through my junior year, but I can’t wait to be on campus and rejoin with my Lafayette Disciplemakers Christian Fellowship and Lafayette Dance Company groups, among others! I feel a little nervous about the upcoming level of activities, classes, and responsibilities I’ll be faced with again, but with my journey through Costa Rica behind me, I know I can handle a lot, and a little challenge isn’t so bad. Wish me luck and until next time readers!

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1 Comment

  1. loved reading this, you will do well, If you were ok with a long car journey,(sounds like it worked out well)you can handle the rest. and love and prayers are always marching beside
    you , love and hugs ,my honey from your Gebon

    says Gebon
    January 24, 2014 at 8:37 am

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