Categorized | Expat Life

Going Home After One Year

I have been in Korea for 11 months now.  A trip home to see family and friends is on the horizon, and I am nervous.  I am nervous about finding a new job, about what it will be like to go home and experience the reverse culture shock, and about where I will wind up when I come back.

With a month left in Korea, I have been thinking a lot about what will be strange when I go home.  Here are my top 5.

1. Others Speaking English – Most of the time when I am in a shop or restaurant, I am the only one who speaks English.  Many times I have to point to or mime what I need.  I think it will be very strange to go home and have everyone I speak to speak the same language.  I have this dream where I will go home to a restaurant and point to what I want instead of ordering it by speaking.

2. Not Being Able to Walk Everywhere – Within 5 mins of my apartment I can walk to dozens of restaurants, a huge department store, several marts, a place to get my hair cut, work, a movie theater, and so much more.  I was so used to driving everywhere before, but now I am used to, and love, being able to walk to just about anything I need.

3. Driving – I have not driven in 11 months.  I don’t have car insurance anymore, and I am not sure if I will get it when I go home or not.  But if I do, it will be very strange to drive again.

4. Not Eating Rice/Kimchi – Here you have both with just about every meal.  I love them both and I am used to having them all the time.  Going home where the food will be so different will be a change.  I am looking forward to some of it like having really good Mexican food again, but I think I will miss a lot of the food here.

5. Seeing My Niece – She was born the day I started work here, so she will be 1 when I get home.  I think this is what I am most excited about doing when I get home.  She is already starting to walk, and she is growing like a weed.  Her first year I have only known her through pictures and Skype, so being able to see her and hold her will be so amazing.

When you came home from traveling, what was the thing that was the hardest to get used to again?  I’d love to hear your experiences.

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About Eric Bynum
I taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now I am looking to set out on a new journey after just finishing my teaching certification in the US. I hope to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.

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One Response to “Going Home After One Year”

  1. Mom says:

    it won’t be bad, Eric. I am finding some good places here. Mom

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