Sunday, February 5, 2012

And then there was one.

사랑하는 나의 안녕히!

Garry left Korea today. I am pretty confident my life will carry on smoothly without him here for a mere 12 more days, but it's more what it signifies that has my wheels turning. My time in Korea is quickly coming to an end. Without being over dramatic, it is the end of a really fun era. Okay that is a little dramatic, let's say the end of a beautiful chapter. The plan to teach in Korea was slowly planted in my head back in 2009, when I fell in love with Asia. It was on my first trip to Southeast Asia, backpacking through Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, that I knew in my head I had to find a way back for an extended period of time. All my time back in Toronto was just laying the ground work to make it all happen. Next was a trip that started in India and was supposed to end in Korea but ended up bringing me back to Toronto after 6 months of travelling. It was then, the pieces started fitting together and Korea came into focus.

Before I knew it, all my paperwork was done, a one year contract was signed, and a job was waiting for me on the other end. A year turned into 16 months and it was just right. After a fantastic experience teaching in Osan for a year, I had another perfect opportunity handed to me. It was right at the time when I had decided one year was not long enough in Korea, but two years may be too much. I hadn't quite had my fill of life in this country- but was a little skeptical (for a number of reasons) to sign on for another long haul. So when the offer of a four month stint, closer to Seoul, came up- I jumped at it.

There was again, another option for a new one year contract at my school in Anyang, but at this point everything was pointing towards going back home. As soon as I made the definite choice a few months back to leave Korea and return to Canada, I knew it was the right one. I was 100% confident in my choice. So the past few months have consisted of checking off all the stuff I wanted to do in Korea, and I am pretty satisfied with it. I am totally ready for something new, a change of scenery in my life. A world where everyone speaks English!

So with Garry making the first move, it now seems real. We are spending a few weeks in the UK to *decompress* from east to west, visiting his family in Scotland and friends in London and Brighton. It is the perfect segway back in to our lives at home. But the fact that he has already left makes me want to speed up time until I get there.

I have just over one week left here. Work is a breeze. It is the last week of school before classes end for spring break (Yes, we just came off 2 months of winter vacation. I don't get it either). So it is the last week of school before kids advance to the next grade, book ended by vacations. Basically, a joke.  Attention span of both students and teacher are almost non-existant. Thankfully I finished the text book material with all my students before Christmas so they (by they I mean I) get rewarded with a week of watching movies. Nothing too stressful. Aside from that my week will consist of packing and saying goodbye to my coworkers and some friends.

Korea has been a fun, adventurous, and really rewarding part of my life. Garry and I had such a great experience here individually, but mostly together. After a fun filled trip to the UK, I am so excited to see what lies around the next turn. I know vaguely we need to find a place to live, jobs, a new car.... but I am so excited (and scared!) to make it all happen. In time, I have faith everything will work out just how it should. As stuff in my life has a tendency to do.

From one continent to the next, it is tough to say goodbye to Asia, but I know from past experiences the pull is too strong. I will be back for sure . Garry and I speak of how interesting it will be to come back to Korea in 10 years time and see all the changes. If not Korea, then Thailand, or maybe Mongolia? Who knows? But for now, I am going to *try* to live in the moment, and enjoy my last few weeks in the place I have called home for the last 16 months.

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