I only have 30 days left in Korea.
Not thirty consecutive days though. I actually don’t move from Korea until mid-January, but because of some travels (!), my days actually in Korea are numbered. Since those thirty days are so split up, it actually makes it a little difficult to have too many more Korea adventures. Those thirty days are filling up shockingly fast with lunches, farewells, and packing.
I knew we were reaching the end of our time here, but January still seems far away. Yesterday, I counted the actual days, and it gave me a shock (enough to make me write on here!) I’ve already started getting sentimental; I was in Gangnam station the other day, surrounded by Koreans, coffee shops, and socks, and it hit me that I’m actually leaving this place. I thought of all the times I have been in that station. New Years Eve, date nights, transferring to another subway line on a Seoul adventure. I teared up to think of all that has happened here, and all that I am leaving.
For two and a half years, I have had this place at my fingertips. I’ve learned how to navigate through this city and this culture, and in the process I found friendship, wonder, and bits of myself scattered throughout this country. This chapter of our lives has truly been one of the best experiences of my life. I feel so lucky not only to have lived here, but to have done it our way. To have both lazy Sundays at coffee shops and exhausting outings in the city. We haven’t done everything we set out to do, but we’ve done so much more than I could have imagined.
Part of what makes the end of our time here so bittersweet is our next chapter. We are going to Ft. Irwin, California. We will be living a far more isolated and quiet life. I know that we will be able to make the best of it, find the silver linings, etc. However, my world expanded when I moved to Korea, and I don’t know that I want it to shrink down quite so much, so suddenly.
There’s a scene in Anchorman where Will Ferrell’s character is in a phone booth, and is very upset. His friend asks where he is; “I’m in a glass case of emotion!” I couldn’t agree more. Excited about our upcoming travels, nervous about how crazy our next few months will be, half pessimistic dread/half optimistic hope about Ft. Irwin, murderous rage that increases each time I drive in Korea, sad about leaving Korea, happy to leave Korea, nostalgic about leaving Korea.
Everyone’s experiences in Korea are different. I’ve known people who hate it from day one, and people who sob on the flight out. I’ve had my ups and downs with this place, but right now, I can only say that it has been absolutely amazing, and that I have no regrets. And I only have 30 days left in Korea.