A year ago yesterday, Andrea and I arrived in Korea to begin teaching. This marks not only an anniversary in this case, but also the crossing off of “live abroad for a year” from my bucket list! Great success *Borat voice*.
I still remember how exhausted I was, a bone-ache that felt simultaneously like being stretched and compressed as I adjusted to life back on ground level (no human should spend that long in an airplane at a time…about 17 hours between the two flights).
It was so overwhelming that I barely even felt panic as I was led in front of my class for the first time, the same day I left the airport.
I also remember quite vividly the feeling of absolute bafflement that I’d ever decided to uproot my life so thoroughly for the unknown. Somehow it felt a lot scarier than going to Australia for a six month exchange, though that was my first time taking a plane in addition to first time leaving the continent/being away from home for so long.
In fact, sometimes I still wonder how the fuck I found the strength to up and leave everything in my life behind when at the time of boarding the plane I had no greater desire than to hide.
Then again, I’ve tried to make it my life’s goal that if I’m terrified of doing something (without the legitimate reasons of it potentially leading to death or dismemberment), I force myself to follow through. I want my life to be an adventure, and that won’t happen if I always avoid the things I’m scared of. I certainly wouldn’t be crossing off anything from my bucket list.
It’s not always smooth sailing, but in my experience, everything works out eventually.
Anyway, as one of my favourite Doctor Who quotes goes, “We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.”
Here’s to the next year’s worth of stories.