I used to wonder if I would eventually take on the culture of where I lived so fully that I would lose my sense of American identity. I don’t worry about that anymore. As much as I may love and adopt and feel comfortable with another country’s culture, I will always be American, even if I never live there again. I may even favor socialism, but I will forever be grateful for the freedom of belief and fostering of critical thought my culture gave me (and as it turns out, these ideals are not incompatible!)
I no longer think it’s my responsibility to “educate” my non-traveling friends and family in the US. Sometimes it’s ok just to nod and agree (i.e., “yes, I do sleep in a hammock and spend my work day throwing bags of rice and beans off a truck.”).
I may never get over my impatience. No matter how many times I remind myself that 99% of the rest of the world follows an indirect pattern of communication, I just have to accept that regardless of how accustomed to it I may get, I will forever prefer and value directness.