This reads much more like a journal entry than my other posts do, so you have been warned. I’m also writing this at 12am knowing I need to wake up for work in a few short hours, which probably makes this a little more incoherent than I’d like. But anyway, here’s how my life has been for the last 4 weeks:
I’ve been in Korea for nearly a month now, and I could never have imagine my life changing so drastically in such a short amount of time. It seems pretty much everything has changed, but I guess that’s because it all has.
Now, not that you probably want to hear much about my plane ride, as it isn’t that interesting, but I got an entire row of four chairs all to myself for the international flight. Lots of really cool little things that remind me I’m really here because God is incredibly ridiculous.
When I got to Korea, I waited in this unbelievably long line that took about an hour to get through where they processed our Covid19 test results and gave us quarantine guidelines. I wandered my way through the airport after customs to find my luggage and connected with this guy who was on my plane–turns out he is also a teacher! We are now friends and have already hung out since we’ve both gotten out of quarantine . Another silly little thing God has graced me with.
Once I finally got out of the airport, I was shoved in this special government taxi and taken on an hour and a half drive to my home. Driving through Korea felt like a fever dream. Most of the drive I just stared out the window and thought, “I cannot believe this is my life.” I also noticed literally every window here is tinted–cars, (most) businesses, every apartment/home. Eventually, after driving for like 2 and a half hours, we got to my place–a 2-bedroom apartment on the top floor of a quite massive complex. I’ve been decorating it, slowly, over the last couple months, and it’s starting to feel much homier. (It’s mostly the plants that are doing it!) I’ll share some updates soon, once I get my accent walls rewallpapered! I am very excited for that process.
Once I got home, I unpacked a few things and started taking stock of the furniture (thank God all the extra pieces are now removed-yay for getting my second bedroom back! It has been full of extra furniture since I got here). But exhaustion hit me pretty quickly, and the process of finally unpacking took about 4 days. My fridge was stocked with food from my grocery list, and I had plenty to eat.
Quarantine was not too bad, really. I got to really make my place feel like home, and considering I was stuck there for two weeks, it felt like home pretty quickly. My boss and coworkers brought me little treats throughout my time stuck here–chai, boba, sugary snacks. So many people did little things to remind me that I was loved, seen, and cared for. I am truly in the greatest community I could ever imagine in the teaching field. Since I arrived to Korea later than I was supposed to (because the embassy does not speed things up for anything pretty much), I started off the school year teaching online. Thankfully, it was only for 3 1/2 school days, and then I was out in the world, and I wish I could have all of you here with me to experience the wonder that I did finally realizing I live here and getting to experience all of this as a resident.
Once I got out of quarantine and started working normally, I began to get into a groove and have found my favorite places to eat, get boba, and work after hours. My apartment is finally decorated to my liking and plans for my second room are in the works.
Everything seemed to fall together so perfectly when I finally got to start my new life.
I’ve been on so many adventures already, finally figured out public transportation, and have gotten into a rhythm of my new everyday.
I’ll keep you updated as my life here continues to change, and I continue to learn!