Monday, May 19, 2014

What's your "home away from home?"

I was recently contacted by the friendly people at DogVacay to answer a simple question: 

What is your home away from home?

I cycled through endless possibilities -- all of the places that have been important to me over the years. Sometimes it's been the ballet studio, sometimes it's been inside a favorite book.

But now, after two and a half years on the other side of the Pacific from my actual home, I have to say that my home away from home has become Korea.

When I moved to Korea, I never thought expat life would be this easy. I found myself settling in quickly and experiencing very minor culture shock. While I'm sure my prior knowledge of Asian culture from years of studying Japanese helped me adapt, ultimately, I think Korea is just an incredibly welcoming and comfortable country.

The food, the festivals, and all of my students -- they are now home. I thought a temporary move -- one year abroad -- would be it, never thinking I would end up staying for three.

I only have six more months in this country, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Some days, I'm really ready to go home (I miss my dog! And, my family and friends, of course). Others, I can't imagine what it will be like to leave this place behind.

But when I do leave, a part of me will be left behind, that much I do know.

So, now you tell me. What's your home away from home? #HAFH2014

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