I’ve officially been an ESL teacher in Korea for 2 years as of today. I am also considered unemployed after today. I can still remember my first day in this wonderful county. Everything was so new and exciting, and it continued to be for my entire first year. During my first year I traveled Korea quite a lot, visiting over 20 cities and islands on every corner of the country. Korea is my home. Or rather it was my home. After two year in Korea I feel as though sometimes I even feel Korean in the mannerisms and language I have picked up over the years. Unlike many people that live in bigger cities, such as Seoul and Busan, I really got the “Korean” experience. Even when I was in Australia I found myself seeking out Koreans to talk to and hang out with. A big part of me feels a big disconnect to the western world I used to know. And as I journey back home for the first time in 2 years I find myself dreading my return.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Traveling and being away from home a long time isn’t the hard part, it’s coming home.
Wicked slideshow of some highlights of my 2 years in Korea ;-;
This entire week has been emotionally, physically, and mentally stressful. Judging by my panic attack at the hospital and my tear-stained face, I’d say that leaving Korea has affected me harder than expected. Korea was never on my list of countries to visit, let alone live in. I came here, let’s face it, for the money and great benefits as most people do. Within the first 6 months I found myself missing South America so much that I couldn’t help but count down the days until my departure. Everyone was surprised that I decided to stay another year, including myself. There are many reasons I decided to stay, for one it was finally starting to feel like home. I had an established community of foreigners in Mokpo, I had Korean friends, a new school that showed promise, and a lot of vacation time to look forward to! It feels as though I was finally settling in only for it fly by in the blink of an eye. I still can’t believe it’s over and I’ve already landed in my first connection of my flight back home!
One thing I do know is I will be returning home a completely different person.. If I can accomplish so much in just 2 years in a completely foreign country, I can tackle almost anything! So here’s to a new beginning with more adventures ahead. I’ll give you a hint, it may or may not involve Tapas and Sangria. 😉