I wish I could carry your smile in my heart for times when my life seems low. It would make me believe… – My Korean Sister
How do you describe the culmination of more than a year–even amid continuing to travel back-and-forth to South East Asia–of living in Seoul in a single blog? Well, I'm going to attempt to do so, especially from the perspective of a Korea-American adoptee (KAD). First of all, it's been quite the roller coaster of both ups and downs of the utmost emotional feelings because of the connection I have with this country that I was born in and a culture that is so different from the United States. As I've mentioned before, the East vs West dichotomy is by far the most interesting and unique cultural differences I've experienced, and I'm extremely thankful for all those that I've met and for the opportunities to TRY and even learn more about my past through both my reunion with my birth mother and half-sister (that I didn't even know about) as well as learning more about Korean cultural and East Asia's differences–through customs, culture, business, mindsets, expectations, etc and etc.
This past month has been one of the more difficult for me, as I struggled to decide upon leaving two successful businesses that I started alone–plus trying get everything I needed done in such a short amount of time. You would think that as a backpacker and veteran traveler it wouldn't be that difficult, but what has made it difficult has been; keeping up with my clients, trying to purchase specific items for what I will need for living on a fishing boat for possibly 100+ days, organizing multiple flights, packing, and the added pressure of friends asking why I'm going or what I'm going to do later. While I always appreciate these friendships and value our time together, what makes it hard some times is not fully understanding one another's perspective–which I talk about further down–the fact that at first I thought I had more than 90-days to wrap up things here, and then this request has change for me to possibly try to get to Alaska by the beginning of May, this of course sped up my timeline to less than a month. What made this such a difficult task has been in attempting to make online orders via Amazon and Walmart (would have preferred Target, however in Korea this site is blocked) , figuring out international banking issues, organizing the shipping of items, packing, tax questions (since this will be the first time working back in the United States since 2012, and thankfully I have a great friend Paul that has his own CPA firm in California and is always gracious enough to provide me with expert tax advice), plus continuing to work with my clients, budgeting issues, and so many others. Therefore, it's been both a struggle–emotionally, physically, and mentally–however I've adjusted to this fact, and thankfully MOST people around me have been supportive of this decision and the reason behind it. Plus, just like my time in Nicaragua and other countries I've lived in abroad, even as much as Korea is home, it is time to move on...for how long? I am guessing until next Fall, but there are too many factors that determine making a definitive statement at this time.
2) Manage your expectations and hopes.
3) Realize that you MAY need some type of support system whether that be a therapist, family, or close friends.
May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand. – Irish Blessing
Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I'll miss you. Until we meet again! – Author Unknown
Don't be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. – Richard Bach
Every day I shall put my papers in order and every day I shall say farewell. And the real farewell, when it comes, will only be a small outward confirmation of what has been accomplished within me from day to day. – Etty Hillesum