Today marks my eleventh month living in South Korea, which means that in one more month, I’ll be going home to California. My plane ticket has already been purchased: I’m all set to arrive in Sacramento at 2pm on Wednesday, March 28th.
As far as my plans for after I get home, I’m not entirely sure. I have a lot of ideas as to what I want to do, but I can’t take any actions towards those plans until I know for sure where I’ll be living permanently: Chris is applying for full-time jobs all over the U.S., and I told him I would move with him wherever he finds a job. Currently, he has four jobs pending (four companies he’s already interviewed with), so now we’re just waiting to hear back from them on whether or not they want to hire him. One of the positions he applied for is in Palo Alto, California, so fingers crossed he gets that job!
As for how I’m feeling about leaving Korea and moving back to the States, I’m currently feeling ALL THE FEELINGS. After my brief visit home at the end of January, I was really excited about my upcoming move back to California in only two more months: I loved being back in Sacramento, and I loved being able to see my family and boyfriend; after I moved home permanently, I would be able to see all of my friends, too! To be honest, I loved being home so much, I didn’t want to go back to Korea. But back to Korea I went, and sure enough, it started to hit me: I had less than two months left in Korea, and surprisingly, that made me really sad.
This realization hit me once I went back to work after my winter vacation and saw my students again. My job is hands down what I’ve loved most about living in Korea, not just because it’s relatively easy and I get a lot of benefits, but because I love my students: they are funny, sweet, smart, lovable kids who have made me so tremendously proud throughout this past year. It breaks my heart to know that I’m leaving my students so soon and I’m going to miss them a lot. If I could, I would bring all 800 of them back to America with me! And not just my students, but all of the wonderful friends I’ve made while in Korea, too. In a perfect world, that would be possible.
Along with being excited and sad, I’m also nervous to go home, mainly because I’m scared about trying to fit back into my old friends’ lives again. My fear is that they will have all moved on with their new friends, new relationships, etc. Will my old friends have time for me? Will we have anything in common anymore? Will I be able to find topics to talk about besides Korea? I sure hope so.
These are just a few of the emotions I’ve been feeling over the past few weeks. But I think for now, I need to focus on making the best of my last month left: I plan on spending a lot of time with my Korean and foreign friends, eating Korean food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and taking a trip to the DMZ, which is the last thing I need to do on my Korea Bucket List. From here on out, no more tears, sadness, and apprehension: just living it up and creating awesome new memories to end an awesome year living abroad.