Korea will change you. That's a given. How? There's no one answer, and it will vary greatly from person to person. For some, it'll be little things like mannerisms or habits, for others, maybe larger things like your entire perspective or self-confidence. As the summer term comes to an end this week, my friends and I have fallen back into a recurrent discussion: What will it be like to go home after living in Korea? While my own repatriation is still at least a year away, I got a taste of it this past spring. And I have to say, going home was definitely a little weird, but not in a bad way. What I found was little pieces of Korea came home with me, in ways I hadn't quite anticipated...
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
Which is more important, a beginning or an ending? Which would you prefer? Which has more value? I feel that common wisdom suggests that you should value the vast opportunity a beginning offers more than the scary and absolute finitude that an ending promises. But having lived in the comfortable confines of South Korea for over a year now, I’ve learned some things about beginnings and endings. Having said so many, I know about about hellos and goodbyes.
My Korea goodbye was a blur. I remember it including many hugs and tears. There was a sickening (Never!) amount of barbecue. Lots of norebang. Some soju. Many cards and promises of reunions. Then there was some last minute shopping and apartment cleaning. Of course there was little sleep involved. I packed and cleaned well into the night and then all of a sudden my plane was lifting its last wheel off the tarmac and just like that Korea and I separated for good.
I won't lie, this week in Korea has been rough. I should be elated for the upcoming weekend forecast of warm weather and birthday celebrations for yours truly, but my heart's a little crushed. A handful of fellow teachers have departed or are preparing for the long journey back to their respective countries and I'm just now realizing how much they've influenced my time abroad. I mean, come on, they basically made it.