Two months before I left for Korea, a staff member at my college said that eventually, living abroad would come naturally. I would wake up, be in Korea, and it wouldn’t be all the extraordinary anymore.
Before coming to Korea, I had this juvenile notion that those residing outside of the United States lived awesome lives everyday of the year. They lived outside of the United States, so of course they live much more exciting lives than mine. After moving in with a home stay family, and living with them for over a month, I can attest that life on the other side of the pond is strangely normal, strangely regular.
We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same table. We come home from work and school and go to bed. Sure, each day I’m taken back by a cultural instance, but overall, life is normal on the Korea side of the Pacific pond. I wake up, and sometimes I think, “Oh my gosh, this is Korea.” But most of the time now, three months in, I think of what needs to be done during and after school. Like most Americans, I get antsy for the weekend or other activities. I get antsy when thinking about lesson plans.
Yes, anywhere you live in the world, you wake up and know that’s where you live. For me, though Korea is not my permanent home, I know that until one day in the future, it’s my home for now.
Geon bae from a different kind of south,