Tuesday, November 6, 2012


It's weird.  For the first time in a long while I am not thinking about renewing with a school or combing the job boards for available positions in Korea.  I started getting emails from recruiting companies with lists of schools looking for the upcoming months, but I deleted them without even thinking of opening them.

Instead I find myself pouring over open jobs for NC, assessing the employment situation for my home state and going through my PRAXIS books, wondering what else I need to review in preparation for next year.  The good news is that elementary school teachers (the field I want to go into) are in demand, more than in previous years.  Before now, I cringed at the thought of going home because I didn't know yet what I wanted to do.  Now, I am ready for the day when I can close the book on my time in Korea and start the next chapter in my life.

I can't guarantee it will be easy or without struggle.  I can't say if things will go the way I want them.  I can't guarantee that I won't have a moment or two where I want to escape to a foreign country.  But I made the decision before I returned this year that it would be my last in Korea, and I'm sticking to that, no matter what awaits me at home.  Having given Korea a good chunk of my life, I'm ready to appreciate where I came from so much more.

Through everything, and even with this past year's situation being less than ideal, Korea has taught me a lot about myself.  It's taught me the value of human relationships.  I know that having lived as a foreigner in a country where many avenues of life are difficult to get into, I will never again look at those who come to the US for a new life the same way again.  Language, laws, religion, politics, health care, social status, education--all of these issues carry new meaning for me.  Talk about a real eye-opening experience.

Even with the uncertainty surrounding the 2012 Presidential Election and what may happen in the following months, I know that no matter the outcome, I will do my best to find a way to live back home.  I owe it to myself to give it a fighting chance.  I've been putting "real life" off as long as I have been living in Korea; now is the time for me to get back into the swing of things, whatever the future brings.

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese


  1. This is an excellent blog. I'm actually curious about what your adjustment back home will be like. Meaning that expats adjusting to living in a foreign country always gets talked about. But what about the reverse. What about expats who return to their home countries? I mean, you've changed in significant ways because you've lived abroad but that doesn't show on the face. How do you communicate to all of the people around you that you've changed, when everything is the same back home?

    These are the kinds of questions I wrestled with myself, so I'm curious what your experience will be like. Again, you have an excellent blog here and happy thanksgiving.

  2. Thanks for reading and for the comment! I'm curious to see how my adjustment will go, as every time I've been at home previously has only been for a short visit. Those times I operated with the mindset that I didn't have to worry too much about fitting in since I would be heading back to Korea soon enough. Any strange behaviors or social faux paxs I made could easily be explained away by my current Asian lifestyle. But going back home for good without having Korea to fall back on will be a challenge. Instead of interacting with people on a limited basis, it's likely I'll be thrust back into full-time Western social interaction on a daily basis. How my brain will cope, that remains to be seen!

    How about your experience? What was it like? Where did you come from overseas?

    Thanks again for reading and commenting!


Share This


Related Posts with Thumbnails