Friday, October 31, 2008

The Last Goodbye

I just passed through Korean passport control and had my passport stamped for what may be the last time here in Korea.

Last night, I returned from my travels through SE Asia and stayed with a couple friends in Busan.  One of those friends was really the first friend I made in Korea.  We noted last night how our conversations are always weighty—not necessarily serious, but about substantive things.  He challenged me a lot in my faith and my worldview.  He’s Canadian (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and he constantly challenged the American-centric views that I brought with me when I arrived in Korea.

He was also the one that opened my eyes to Geoje’s amazing beauty.  With his car, we were able to explore the nooks and crannies in Geoje that I would have never been able to find or experience if it hadn’t been for him.

We discovered a dead whale on a deserted Geoje beach, ate whale meat (not the same one we found), and ate dog-meat stew.  There was actually an ongoing joke comparing him to John Locke from Lost for his connection to “the Island.”  Geoje would have been entirely different if it wasn’t for his friendship.

Then, I got to know his girlfriend who became his fiance and then his wife.  The past two weeks, I’ve been so overwhelmed with the experience of travel, that I haven’t reflected much on what I’m leaving behind.  Late last night we were catching up, my friend asked how I felt about leaving Korea.   It really made me think about it.

It’s too easy to say that I’m “going home” in returning to America.  Korea has been my home for the past two years.  My heart has become attached to my friends, my students, my co-workers, and my church family.  I’ve become so used to the green mountains surrounding Gohyeon, and seeing the sea almost everyday that its hard to adjust to life on the plains.

Korea will always be some sort of home.  No, I’m not simply returning home.  Instead, it might be better to say that I’m returning to my first home.

1 comment:

I appreciate comments. If you have a personal message to me, then e-mail would be best.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...