We sometimes get so focused on what we’re doing and the things immediately around us, we don’t stop to stand back and look at the whole picture. I’m closing in on two years away from home, and at times I’m starting to call my place here in Korea “home”.
I’ve booked my flight home (to my real home) for the holidays, and now I have a light at the end of my tunnel. It’s almost a little hard to imagine what it will be like actually being there – I’m starting to forget what some people look like. I know there will also be changes everywhere, to things and people. I’ll be a bit of an outsider trying to get back into the swing of things – and after 4 weeks, I’ll just pack up and be off again.
People will generally ask the obvious question, “How’s Korea?”. I’ll likely have a very lame answer, because it’s not just a place I’ve quickly visited, it’s a place where I’ve made my temporary home. Only other expats will be able to truly understand it, but I wouldn’t really expect other people to. Everything’s different. Simple things can be a nightmare, and still certain things don’t make any sense.
While I haven’t seen my family for almost two years, I’ve made a new one here. My friends here in Samcheok are an amazing and diverse group of people, something unique that I can’t find anywhere else in the world. There’s Welsh, South Africans, Americans, English, Irish, Canadian and a Kiwi. I’ve had some of my closest friends leave in the last month or so, and it’s sad to realize we’ll never all be together again. That’s the life of an expat here in Korea.
I’ve spent 2 birthdays here now, but I won’t be spending a third. The time to go is quickly approaching. I hope I don’t seem negative, because I’m not trying to be. Living here in Korea has been a great experience, and it honestly forces you to learn a lot about yourself – like it or not. I’ve always said “if you don’t like it, change it”. I don’t feel like I have to leave yet, but it will happen soon enough.