I’ve mentioned this briefly in a lot of posts over the last six months, but here it is again for good measure: I’m leaving South Korea.
After seven years of living in this beautiful country that has become my second home, I’m packing a few boxes to ship back to the US and selling / giving away everything else in my apartment. I’ll be leaving the country with one backpack, four crossed fingers, and a thousand memories.
Seven years. Typing these words leaves a lump in my throat. I’ve developed some of the closest relationships in my life here, and although the world is getting smaller and my friends are only a Skype call away, it’s not quite the same as hopping on the subway or walking down the street to meet someone for a beer spontaneously. In the past few months, I’ve felt like George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life because when you part from the people you love, you tend to tell them how much you love them. There’s a Korean word, 정 (jeong), that describes how I feel about Korea – it’s indefinable even in Korean and has no matching English word – but encompasses feelings of love, attachment, affection, community, and giving. Korea sometimes feels like a big family, and I appreciate that more than I can say.
I’m nervous about going home… I’m expecting the reverse culture shock of coming back to the US to be much more difficult than the original culture shock of moving to Korea, especially given the current political climate! That being said, I have a LOT to be excited about – seeing family and old friends, forging a new and more meaningful career path, probably moving to a new city. I’ll be traveling for six months (in Africa, Spain, and the UK) before I arrive in the US and definitely looking forward to grand adventures! My future is uncertain, though: Will I be able to find a job? Where will I end up? Will I have to have roommates again in order to be able to afford living in the US?
Also uncertain is the future of this blog. I don’t use my phone to do anything blog-related for privacy reasons, and as I’ll be backpacking, I’m not taking a laptop or iPad with me. I don’t know how often I’ll have access to internet cafés or if the ones I come across will be places I feel comfortable posting in. I will try to post / check into Twitter when I can in the next six months, but it’s likely that posts will be few and far between.
So before I embark on this journey, I’d like to say: I feel so incredibly lucky to be a part of this blogging community. Writing this blog has given me an outlet to uncage a creativity I didn’t even know I had, and I’m grateful for that every day. The ways in which sex bloggers support and encourage each other inspires me and fills me with joy.
I’ll be coming through Barcelona, London, Edinburgh, and Bristol this summer; if you happen to live in one of those places or know a trustworthy person who does and will provide a sleeping space on their floor in exchange for some good storytelling, please shoot me a message on Twitter or an email (@teachershavesex / firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know! As you can imagine, traveling for six months is going to be pretty expensive, and even hostel dorm rooms add up!
I’ll be posting one more Sinful Sunday and one more non-fiction story before I take off; for now I just want to say thank you so much for reading (and for posting the hundreds of gorgeous photos and pieces of writing many of you do that put ideas in my head!). May your 2017 transitions be positive and peaceful ones, and I hope all of you will experience your own grand journeys this year, even if they happen in your own home.