Return

Well, it’s finally happening – I’m writing this sitting in Incheon Airport, negative Covid test in hand, with my flight home taking off in a couple of hours (shoutout to Kyle for helping me lug all my stuff). It feels unreal that I’m finally going home, honestly – it’s been nearly three years since I first came to Korea, and so much has happened since then that I hardly feel like the same person that flew in for Fulbright orientation back in 2019. Since then, I’ve had three different jobs and lived in three different cities, made lifelong friends, struggled, succeeded, and that’s not even mentioning the global pandemic throughout it all.

The last time I wrote on this blog, it was while I was living in Gimcheon – a job that I left a few months afterward and moved to Tongyeong, a small coastal city in the south of Korea. Although I neglected to update this blog as much as I liked, I do hope to post more about it someday – out of all the cities I lived in, Tongyeong was by far my favorite. I was lucky enough to have wonderful schools, coteachers, and students to work with, and the city itself is beautiful. Thanks to the numerous scenic islands and mountains, I got very into hiking during my time in Tongyeong – huge shoutout to my hiking buddies!

My teaching contract ended back at the end of February, and since then I’ve been chilling in Seoul and exploring different areas when possible – Korea is in the middle of a huge Covid surge right now, so I’ve mainly been sticking to the less-crowded tourist areas during the week and brief weekend trips to small cities. While I haven’t been able to complete my bucket list, I do feel satisfied with my time in Korea – I’ve gotten to see a lot of the country, have experiences that I would never have dreamed of, and gotten to know some amazing people. I know that I’ll be back someday – this isn’t the end.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone when I get back – it’s been so long, I know it’s going to be quite the adjustment. My next steps are, tentatively, grad school (once I hear back about funding) so it’s comforting to know that the next adventure is on the horizon. In the meantime – goodbye Korea, and thank you for these past few years. Hello, USA – I’ll be seeing you soon!