I cannot believe I am leaving so soon. There is so much to pack and final goodbyes to plan. No matter how much time I spend saying goodbye it will never be enough. I fear my relationships and memories fading away with time... that's why we blog, though!
I have made so many amazing friends here, some of whom are practically family to me: Grace, Seho, Garrett, Soeun, Mr. and Mrs. Kang (and the whole family!), Teddy, Tina, Jasmine, Annanda, Gabby, Nicole, Donna, Janikka, Virginia, Kira, Samantha, Corbyn, Sabi, Benie, Crystal, Dolma, Kelly... Even the wonderful store owners who's acquaintances I've made along the way! At this rate, I will 100%, absolutely, undoubtedly be crying on the plane ride back as I scroll through all the memories we have made.
And on that same thread, so many places will stick with me forever! I will always carry a piece of the arcade I always frequent, the convenience store, my favorite (cheap) restaurants, the pool room, the pc room, Sokcho and it's serene beaches, the vast countrysides, every single cafe I've visited more than twice, the CIEE office (and all the wonderful staff!), the palaces, the mountains, the narrow streets dotted with traditional korean buildings, and even the subways!
I feel incredibly uncertain about when I will return to South Korea again. There is so much to consider about my future career, and whether or not it involves any sort of travel in the first place. All I know is this: I NEED to make it a top priority. Even if I arrive and things don't feel the same, since very few of my friends now would be here should I return. Even if I still am unsure of whether or not I know the language enough or not. Even if life changes me and points me in different directions, as it always does.
I feel I have been a bit cryptic and emotional in this blog post, but alas, this is as authentic as I can be with how I am feeling in the present.
Goodbye, study abroad. I had fun, even despite the obstacles and hardships. More importantly, I have grown so, so much.
<3 Chase Engel