10 American Things I Still Can’t Get Used To As a “Veteran” Immigrant

Stella Guan
10 min readJan 26, 2021

Culture shocks can sometimes last for over a decade

In the summer of 2008, I hopped on a plane for the first time in my life and landed in the U.S. sixteen hours later.

It was the beginning of an era. Like they said, I had my whole life in front of me.

Almost 13 years later, I’m still here.

Reflecting back on my experience from a cultural perspective, I realized so much has changed.

Many people I met here have commented on how “American” I sound and feel. Personally, I admit that I feel the same way.

I have adopted an American accent. I no longer translate sentences from English to Chinese in my head. I think in American ways. I even legally changed my name to an English one.

In recent years, however, the longer I stay in America, the more I feel the urge to reconnect with my cultural identity.

It has been many years since I started to feel like I am slipping away from my culture. I recognized that this is going to be a long and continuous process. So while I reflect, why don’t I start with some observations I had over the years on the unique quirks that make America, well, America.

#1. Flip flops are acceptable…



Stella Guan

Digital nomad designer and entrepreneur between the US, Europe & Asia | CEO of Path Unbound, UI/UX design school | www.stellaguan.com | youtube.com/@stella-guan