It’s hard to believe that my second year in Korea is coming to an end. In many ways I am happy and ready to move onto something new, but I’m also sad that this chapter of my life is ending. I’ve met such interesting people here, good and bad, and I’ve learned SO MUCH.
I’ve had so many experiences here that it’s almost like my 4 years of university squished into 2! I will say this year has been easier than last – for many reasons. I was beyond the culture shock that slapped me in the face half-way into my first year, and I settled into a, shall we say, healthier way of life. (For the most part. :)) It probably helped having a Korean boyfriend who is and has been so supportive the past year.
So what will I miss about this beautiful country? Chatting with the cashiers at the the grocery store, my students greeting me with “Hi Teacher!” throughout the day, and some good friends. People who have shared their culture with me and other expats who were also ready for an adventure. These are just a few things.
I remember the month before I left for Korea. I spent 5 months applying and preparing for this job, that it shocked me when I actually got my notice of appointment (official letter that I needed to apply for my visa). Was this really happening? Was I ready for it? Did I want to go? Yes. I needed to move here. It has been one of the best decisions of my life. I will sincerely miss this country.
I will leave Korea the morning of August 17th. My friend and I plan to spend time in Beijing, and then take the trans-Mongolian railroad through to Ulan Ude, Russia. From there, we will meet our friends (who will take a ferry from Sokcho on Korea’s East Sea, to Vladivostok, Russia and then take the trans-Siberian to Ulan Ude.) We will make our way through Russia, and then our group will split and a few of us will go onto Europe, stopping in Krakow, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Calais, Dover, and finally London. It will be one hell of an adventure.