... because this is barely the beginning.
As my journey in the RoK draws to a close, I'm starting to reflect on my time here. So much has happened in the span of this past year - both, positive and negative - yet, I can't help but hope that I'll always look back on this experience and smile.
These past few weeks have been spent preparing for and working at an English summer camp. I've been teaching middle school boys for the first time in my life, and it's been quite the experience. For one thing, I've learned that boys are more forgiving than girls. If I scold a male student for being disruptive in class, the next day he'll forget all about it and go back to his regular self. If I scold a female, however, she's guaranteed to hold a grudge for the remainder of her classes with me. It's a woman thing -- I just never realized we started at such a young age.
Almost every close friend I've made in Seoul will be heading back to their respective homes by the end of August. The thought of not seeing these women on a regular basis (as for the past year) is quite saddening. There's something to be said about choosing people to be part of your family. Yes, I say family because that's pretty much what they've become for me. Almost every experience, emotion and thought has been shared with them, and I can't imagine going back to a life that won't directly include them. Thank heavens for technology! It's a bit soothing for the spirit knowing that they'll simply be a phone call or message away. Another bonus is that no matter where I find myself in the next few years, I know I'll always have someone to visit!
On another note, I find it rather fitting that my favourite book will be released as a movie, just a couple of weeks before I head home. I became steadfast about coming to Korea after reading "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Before that, I wavered a lot, unsure if the experience would be right for me. After reading the book I began to understand how important it is to take risks in life and enjoy each moment we experience, whether good or bad. It became a reminder I'd turn to, every time I felt lost. It seems almost fortuitous that the movie comes out on August 13th. I hope you all have a chance to check it out!
I have a couple of trips planned for the few weeks I have left. After I finish working at the English camp this week, I'll be heading out with a couple of friends to explore the Southern coast of the country. We don't have a big itinerary planned, but the joys of traveling with these women is that they have wandering spirits just like me. Aside from a few key hot spots, we plan on simply exploring as we stumble. I'm pretty excited about it.
On a final note, I have some terrific blog news! StraightFromTheCurls has been selected as one of the top 10 blogs in Korea by GO! Overseas. Be sure to check out their site if you're interested in traveling, working, studying or volunteering abroad. It's laid out very well, and there's tons of interesting articles to help you with any questions you may have.