It’s finally here. The day I’ve been waiting for since this day last year. My one year anniversary in Korea. To mark the occasion, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and ruminations about the last year. So here goes… I am so very thankful for all of the amazing, new friends I’ve made this year from all over the world. They are such a big part of why my experience in Korea has been so wonderful. And if any of said friends are reading this, know that I WILL be taking you up on your offer to couch surf in whichever super awesome country you hail from that I totally want to visit. No takesies backsies! I have experienced so many new and wonderful things, and I feel like I’ve grown so much. I have stepped WAY farther out of my comfort zone than I thought I ever would, and have loved (almost) every minute of it. I have really enjoyed fully immersing myself in another culture. It has taught me so much about both myself and the world around me. My students are amazing and, as trite and cliche as it sounds, they have truly taught me way more than I could ever hope to teach them. Although I did teach them how to do thumb wars and to say, “You’re killing me, Smalls!” So I feel pretty good about that.
Knowing that if I had wanted to, I could actually be home with my family right this very moment is making the day just a little bit tougher. I really miss home and can’t wait to go back (48 days. But hey, who’s counting?), but know that the choice to stay until closer to the holidays is a good decision, financially. It is probably the first decent financial decision I have ever made in my life, and let me tell you – I don’t see it becoming a pattern. It’s no fun at all. Staying longer also means that I get to hang with my BFF a little longer and that I’ll have a travel companion on the way home, since Joe is going to come back to the states with me for a bit. So I’m trying to focus on the silver lining and not the fact that I would kill for some decent Mexican food in and around my mouth. And that I could be snuggling with my kitties RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE. They miss me. Terribly.
Enough of my whining (for now). Here is the highlights reel from my last year: going to Thailand, going to the Expo, eating live octopus, discovering one of my new top 5 favorite foods – dak galbi, volunteering at/for the orphanages, Mud Fest, playing Harry Potter with fireworks on the beach in Busan, my students, my mom’s visit and, of course, meeting my best friend. Korea year 2 just won’t be the same without my bestie with testes.