Friday, December 04, 2009

The Adventures are Coming to An End.

I suppose this has been a long time coming. When you sign on to come to Korea, you know you have an expiration date because you're only signing a one year contract. It seems like it will be a forever amount of time, but in reality it's only one year. When you get here, within a few months, you know of know if you're going to finish after the one year time frame, or possibly extend. For me, going to Korea seemed like a seamless transition and the most right decision I've ever made - going home was the farthest thought from my brain. I drank in all the adventures I could.

Settling into Suji was of course, a bit of a shock, as you'd expect. I got there after the longest flight I had ever taken and dumped into a spare bedroom of a guy's apartment with no air conditioning in the middle of a heat wave in the dead of August across the street from a dump. Within 6 days I had gone from working with A List Rappers to working with 100 6 year old Asian children, and within the first two days I had 20 new friends that quite a few of them are still some of the best people I know to date. To say it's the weirdest situation is an understatement. It goes without saying that the question, "WHAT HAVE I DONE?!" repeatedly went through my brain the first week.

With all of that being said, there is nothing more liberating and mind opening than being abroad for any amount of time. I got addicted to it and kept pushing my leave date back time and time again. I love who I am when I'm living here. I'm an ex-patriate. I'm unique. I use my passport, I'm seeing the world. Everything is new and shiny because it's nothing you've really seen before. I meet other travelers who share the same opinions I do, and all have that same lust for life and love of the open road. Sure - you meet a lot of directionless people, or weird vagabonds, but mostly you just meet people that are inspiring. You're living the dream and are not just able to say that.

The next few weeks are going to be insanely difficult. It'll be weird because I really am looking forward to going home, so I'm not sad, and after the year that I've had it'll be nice to catch my breath a bit, hear and speak English again, be a part of the majority. But in a lot of ways, I love not understanding everything perfectly around me, I have made some amazing friends that I know I won't get to ever see again, I will miss the food that I have come to crave daily, and all of the benefits of the lifestyle here. The new friendships, the healthcare, the work sometimes, the freedom, the lack of a closing time in most places, outdoor markets, bartering, the impeccable transportation system, the cities I get to visit, the reasonable pricing of everything, the lack of taxes and tipping, no open container law, the challenge in the little things, the bars/clubs, the randomness, the events, the sports, all of it will be sorely, sorely missed. On the other hand, there are things I am looking forward to not having to deal with such as the basic questions "What is your name, where are you from, do you have a boyfriend, what are your hobbies" over and over, not being able to find simple food I want, living in a state perpetual college life, the temporaryness of everything, and the constant saying goodbye to great friends.

December 19 I fly out of Korea, most likely for good. Crazyness all around.