(Brace yourself for a crushing wave of sentimentality. Because if you thought I could over idealize, romanticize, and just generally be way too cheesy about Korea, just wait until you hear my thoughts on my home town.)
Thinking About Home
The thing of “missing home” while you’re living abroad is a complex and constantly changing feeling. It’s like this shapeless, ever-present thing sitting in the back of your mind.
For me, I try very hard to not let my mind wander to close to it. Because for all my enthusiasm and love for Korea, I have an even greater love for my family who I miss and a greater nostalgia for the memories and experiences that brought me to Korea in the first place.
But yesterday I got my travel dates approved by my principal and now I know for sure that I’m going to get a much-needed 18 days back home.
So last night I started doing what I’ve been not doing the past 10 months. I started thinking about America. My America. And all the little things that make up my life there.
I thought about how my hometown looks when it’s about noon. Huge bright blue sky, humidity and heat hovering in a blur above the road, and the rush of sharp coolness as you open a door to go inside.
I thought about driving all over town with my sister with the same CD I’ve had playing for 6 years. I thought of the stale hot air when I get into my car after being gone for a while.
I thought about the very specific sound my dad’s footsteps make outside the front door when he comes home from work at the end of the day. I thought of the smell of the well water coming out of a hose in the dead of summer and how it would make pieces of grass and dirt stick all over my feet.
I thought of properly brewed coffee with real cream and sitting in the living room with my mom in the morning.
I miss the feeling of 3 hours having gone by talking to my best friend over coffee or food or nothing at all.
I miss the sound of car doors closing the driveway. I miss the sound of sprinklers. I miss the feeling of sand.
I haven’t let my mind wander back home very much since I’ve been here. Mainly as a matter of self-preservation. But now that I have it’s like a floodgate.
It’s not making me sad, it’s making me excited. I’m excited to be able to exhale completely. To not worry about anything. At all. To not have to think. To be surrounded by people who share my language, my culture, my last name, and even my most cherished memories.
So here’s to the next two months in Korea and the 21 hour plane journey that stands in-between me and all those things I’ve started to think about.
Thanks for reading!