I finally could drive on the highway. I could do my own laundry, cook my own food, run my own errands and go on with the life that I thought once was stressful to manage. I just could go on with my own business and not have to think about anyone watching what I was doing or questioning why I was doing it. Both of my parents are very successful back home, and  I’ve always had the pressure to be like them and follow their footsteps. It was a burden for me growing up but now not so much. I’ve embraced the woman I’ve become and I’ve learnt to love myself over the years.

Going back home for me was nerve-wrecking. I don’t know why. Am I the only one? I feel that once you are accustomed to a new lifestyle and you go back to your old one it can be overwhelming? Or maybe its because going back home meant little freedom for me to do things my way. That was one of the reasons why I was nervous going back home.

I was used to my schedule in America. I was used to the life here. When my mother called on Viber to tell me that she got me tickets to come back to Vietnam for Christmas, I felt very excited but also nervous. I couldn’t wait to see my parents, eat the good food, go swimming and drink Cafe Sua da every day. But I knew coming home meant I had to revert back to living with my parents and I wasn’t so sure how this would work out…

Part of me wanted just to stay here in America because I like being independent.

Traveling back home can be scary sometimes. I want to let you know that it is ok, that culture shock and change is part of transitioning and growing up. I even cried the first couple of nights when I was back in Vietnam because I just didn’t know where I belonged.

I’m not sure if this is the result of being homesick or just being anxious because you don’t know what is going to happen when you go back to your old lifestyle. I’ve heard of mixed reviews where students abroad would go back to their hometown and love it and never wanted to go back to the United States. Or some students couldn’t stand going back to their hometown because of “differences” and wanted to leave ASAP! Now that I’m back in America, I feel less overwhelmed. In the plane I always find myself asking these questions:

  • Will I achieve all the things I set out this year? What if I don’t?
  • What if people in Vietnam don’t understand why I chose to study in America?
  • What if my parents don’t understand my career choice?

This blog post is intended to share some of the feelings I have traveling home. The culture shock and homesickness is something I go through everyday, but it gets better each day. I am also trying to learn not to care too much of what others think of me 🙂 But when your mom is a very well-known person in Vietnam, it is hard not to.

I hope you have a wonderful day. I am so tired today  I did a defense ability class yesterday. I was practically screaming, fighting, disabling and learning self-defense techniques 😉 stay tuned for my next blog post!


Catherine Ha

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One comment


Thanks, great article.

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