The Long Way Home

11:28 PM Jessica Montgomery 0 Comments

I wrote this post a while back, but never clicked 'publish'. Is it too late to post now that I've decided (Yepp, I've changed my mind yet again.) to stay? haha
Written April, 30th:
       I've barely had time to clean my apartment for my parents arrival (tomorrow!) let alone keep up on this blog. I fear that I've been leaving out so many details these past few posts that this has turned into Jessica's Sparks Notes on Korea rather than an actual journal. Not what I intended.

But, one abrupt thing I can tell you right off the bat: I've changed my thoughts on re-signing. Sure the money and the travel opportunities here are unlike anything I've experienced before and I do feel somewhat selfish giving that up. But. I feel like it's time to move on.  I feel that if I stayed here another year I would just be further delaying the inevitable. I need to move on and ...grow up(?) Grow up more so than living in a foreign country like Korea can bring me. I'm sure that's hard to understand. Hard to understand unless you are here; living this life. The best I, and friends of mine here, can describe it: It's not real life. It's a strange limbo. I'm not saying that everyone here who resigns is running from something. Some have long term goals with ESL. But for me, I feel the need to keep exploring.

And keep exploring I will. Here are my tentative plans: I will end my contract in August and travel for a month -country hopping South East Asia or possibly making the big leap to Europe and flying the opposite way around the world. Then! I'll spend my birthday month at home, apply for grad school and visit all my lovelies from The States. After touching home base, I'm off again to explore The America I never knew. Kate and I plan on getting our Jack Kerouac on and travelling across the country. I've already begun to map out our route. Tentatively I'll head East, pick up Kate in Jersey, head down the Coast popping in to visit our Nation's Capital (What "All-American Road Trip" would be complete without it?), swing Westward and hit cities like New Orleans and Austin, Texas before transforming into Hunter S. Thompson en route to Vegas (minus the drugs). Then head North along the Californian coast to the redwoods, run with the buffalo in Yellow Stone National Park, then cross back towards the Midwest chasing the fumes of the Motor City. Some inspirational reading here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/The-Long-Way-Home-USA.html

It's interesting to re-read that now that my contract renewal is signed and in the mail. I guess not much has changed in my sentiments from above. I still want to travel, I still want to take that road trip, and yes, it is still limbo. But, it's amazing how a week (and weeks worth of thought, I assure you) can change things. Never have I felt so welcome and so comfortable in Korea as I do now. My parents teased (and feared I'm sure) that them living with me for 12 days would make me want to stay in Korea forever. They were right. But for a different reason. I realized that I can always return home. But is this opportunity always going to be there? Not necessarily. I weighed the pros and cons over and over again in my head and resolved that I would ultimately regret it in the long-run if I went home in a couple months. Time goes by so fast here. It goes by fast, but you're able to see and do so much. Looking back at my time here I've been to three different countries, seen every coast of the Korean peninsula, learned how to read Korean, performed in a play with a cast/crew from all over the world, exhibited my artwork on an international scale, made life-long friends from 8 different countries, all while having my own apartment and a padded bank account to aide in these adventures. Not too bad for a year. And I'm sure the next one will be just as amazing...if not more so.

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