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January 8, 2016 | 08:09am
Mood: contemplative

I head back to Korea tomorrow.

You know, usually when I come home, I am sick of the states and absolutely ready to leave within two weeks. Things are a bit different this time.

I've been thinking a lot about the concept of "home." For me, home has always been where I lay my head - Des Plaines, Kirksville, Bloomington, Gwangju, Jeonju, and now Seoul. But there is a hierarchy in all of these places. Des Plaines will forever be home. Kirksville and Bloomington, not so much. Korea is my second home, and Gwangju (and by extension, Jeollado) is my second hometown. Seoul is growing on me.

I've been thinking. What if I returned to the states? I really like Chicago, and the suburbs. I've always said that the reason I left this area is because I like it so much. Hell, I almost feel as if I've been away for long enough that I'd be willing to move back.

I don't plan on returning to the states anytime soon, of course. If I somehow manage to get a great job with the US branch of a Korean company, or a job with the government or something, then sure, I'd come back sooner rather than later. Failing that, I will continue to stick it out in Korea for the duration of my scholarship. I don't know yet if I will seek out job options or if I want to continue with a PhD (and if I do, I will almost certainly be returning to the US), but I will not leave Korea until December 2017 at the very earliest.

That being said, this time around, I don't feel terribly excited about heading back to Korea. I'm not sick of my parents yet, I'm not sick of being here. I'm not living a particularly exciting life at the moment, but I'm not bored. I have a couple months to chill, work out, work on my Korean and study. This time around, I don't really feel like I'm going "home," and I'm trying to figure out why.

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