This.is.it. I'm at the airport, remembering a little over a year ago when I was writing about my trepidation about coming to Korea, convincing myself that everything would be a-okay. What a journey it has been.
Saying goodbye to coworkers and students proved more difficult than I had imagined. I noticed that I tend to get (overly?) attached to people and places, whether I mean to or not. Must be something about being human. It sure makes wanderlust a bit of an obstacle, but I suppose one must look these attachments merely as enrichment of the soul. I am thankful for everyone I have met here in Korea and for all of the places I've left my heart.
I'm heading home in a few hours (got to the airport a bit early, just to be sure). But, where is home? As I've said before, I struggle with this theory of "home." Isn't the place I rest my head, on that particular night, my home? Wasn't my tent my home for the week in Jeju? It feels liberating to have a wide view of home. It makes missing the places that came before a little less powerful of a feeling.
So, I go back to my land of birth. (That's a better word assignment.) I'm anticipating a bit of reverse culture shock and am crossing my fingers for little-to-no jet lag. I will stop first in Seattle, to see Ash and John James. From there, I'll venture to Juneau for a month. Then, back to the heartland, Kansas, to visit the Heinz contingent. All the while, I'll be searching for a new job to bring me back to Korea in a few short months. I'm not done with this place, not yet.
Thank you, Korea. I know I've said it a lot, but you've given me the strength to grow into my skin, to appreciate that the conventional life is not meant for everyone (myself included), and you've taught me to be at home where I sleep, wherever that may be.
Click HERE for pictures of my last days teaching and my last night out with the coworkers.