Saturday, 12 February 2011

In search of Home

Many, if not most, foreigners who come to Korea to teach English are running from something. Whether that is a crappy job, a difficult breakup, or something more serious, each of us are trying to escape from something and in search of something more, whether we know what that is or not.

I can't speak for others, and I hope they find what they are looking for, whatever it is. But I know that I've found what I was looking for, even though I didn't know when I came here what it was. I was in search of Home. Yes, I came over 5 and a half thousand miles only to find that everything I wanted and needed is right back where I came from.

Now that I have only 3 weeks to go before I return Home, I am looking forward to sitting in front of the fire drinking proper tea. To walking the dog in the fields I know so well whilst wearing wellington boots. To knowing exactly how much everything costs. To watching the news. To being able to communicate with everyone. To cooking for more people than just me. And that's what it comes down to: my family.

However much I have enjoyed being here in SoKo, and I have enjoyed it so much, it has never been what I was looking for because it has never been home. I haven't seen my mum and dad in almost a year. There is also no way I could ever successfully find love here, since, as I mentioned, pretty much every foreigner here is preoccupied by their own issues, and however culturally sensitive I may be, unfortunately I think it best for me to be with someone from a more similar background to my own.

That's not to say that SoKo has not been everything I've needed. A space to explore, to discover new ways of looking at things, of looking at myself. It has been a crucible for my flaws, big and small. Not saying I am by any means perfect now, but the soft, silly edges have certainly been toughened up and better defined. Although apparently my wont to make vague sweeping statements without going into specific details has not changed. Perhaps one day people will find it endearing.

Thank you, South Korea, for making me appreciate everything I have and everything I have to go back to: my Home.

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