Thursday, October 13, 2011

One Year In Korea

I have no idea where the last 52 weeks of my life have gone.  It honestly feels like last week that I left the Aflac office with cupcakes in hand, picked up Charlie from his final vet travel exam, and we road tripped our way up to Missouri for a quick visit before hopping on a plane.

5am on October 14th we boarded a plane. 11:30 pm on October 15 we walked through the front door of our new home.

We both adjusted pretty immediately.  Just fell right into the flow of our new life.  I very quickly decided that since even my worst days here were still better than any of my best days of my last 9 months in Orlando, that yes, I made the right the decision. Any of the other options that I had been considering just didn’t seem far enough away at the time. For all intents and purposes, distance was the objective. With distance comes clarity. 

This whole Korea thing isn’t about “finding myself.”  That’s goofy, I know who I am.  I’ve had quite a few life lessons in the five years leading up to Korea that I can be confident in saying that.  Korea has given me the ability to step away from the drama and the pain of it all and just hang out with myself for a while. Take pleasure in my own company. Thank goodness I like myself or else that would have been very unpleasant to say the least.

I enjoy everything about my life here.  My friends, my school, my city.  I am happy here. My life is very normal which I think is difficult for people at home to understand.  I eat out a lot, anything from McDonald’s to sushi dates with the girls. I shop too often. I stay in most weekdays and watch endless reruns of Sex and the City. I take trains, buses, taxis and subways instead of driving my car. I can even speak a little Korean. Very little.

As my good friend Emily told me months ago, Korea is the land of broken hearts and empty soju bottles.  This has become our safe place.  Far away from the people, places or things that made us hurt so much in the past.  A place where no one judges because we’ve all been there.  Korea has been a therapist for many.  And a darn fine one at that. I’ve become my happy self again in this last year and I owe Korea a lot for that. Being here has been good for me.   

Coming here was, and is, a reboot.  A ctrl+alt+del.  And it worked, I think.  Though I won’t really know until I go home and am back in old and familiar surroundings.  New memories waiting to be made, yet old ones lurking around unexpected corners. That will be the test.

Even with all the time that has passed a simple act of sincerity and humility, though very much appreciated, can dropkick a person right back to where they were a year ago. Boarding a plane at 5 am, lamenting everything she had lost, and wishing on every star that she would never feel that way again….

Year two begins now.

~Amy Kate


  1. I love this post. Happy one year anniversary! I wish I was in Daejeon to help celebrate!

  2. I think youre more brave than you realize. Its been great reading about your adventures in Korea. ~Scott Morgan

  3. the best to you on your second year of this great adventure.

    - sleepy