I’m sure that all my readers know that I absolutely love living in Seoul. However, for all expatriates, no matter how intoxicatingly sweet you may find the drink, there will always be an ever so slightly bitter taste mixing with the exotic swirls of sweetness. Because no matter how wonderful the chosen home country may be, there are just so many loved ones and things you miss from your actual home country. So far, I’ve managed to visit my native Denmark once every 6 months while being in Korea.
I’m currently preparing to leave for Korea tomorrow after spending five wonderful weeks with friends and family in Denmark. This time, I’ve enjoyed having time enough to meet with everyone (many more than once), and I’ve been amazed at how much time people have generously cleared from their busy schedules just because I’m back from Korea. Although I know it’s not easy I’m deeply moved by everyone’s support for my decision to stay a year longer in Seoul. Even my former employer has assured me that if I’m ever interested, my job is waiting when I return. At the same time I have Korean students emailing me daily that they cannot wait to take my classes in the fall. If a teacher’s heart can ever burst from pure joy, I think mine is just about to do so.
Coming home after having spent a period abroad there are many things that you suddenly see in a new light. Things you used to take for granted and now suddenly realize are special. For me, it’s been great being able to shop in Danish supermarkets and buy fresh produce at reasonable prices, and despite the very cold weather I’ve enjoyed the clean and fresh air. I’ve also enjoyed the long bright evenings sipping white wine with lovely people.
The best part of having two countries that feel like home to you, is that whenever you travel from one to the other, you never really feel like you’re leaving – you’re just going home again. Knowing that when I’m in Korea, there are people in Denmark who love and miss me, and likewise for Korea when I’m in Denmark, is an amazing feeling. Rather than feeling uprooted and displaced, I feel that I have roots in two countries, and just like I was longing for Denmark while in Korea I’ve been longing for Korea while I’ve been in Denmark.
Tomorrow, I’m leaving the fresh, green fields of Denmark to say hello to the rolling mountains of Korea.
But don’t worry. I’m not sad. Because whichever direction I’m flying in between Denmark and Korea – I’m always going home.