Of course there are the big things, like the palaces, temples and great gates that seem so exotic. There are also the things that are the great cliches of Korea, like the Konglish.
(I often walk around here wishing I could just proofread for everyone. Including the Seoul Zoo).
But as I sit here in the hotel in waiting limbo, with our apartment emptied, the things I find myself savoring and knowing I’ll miss are the small things.
Eating at our favorite local restaurants. Walking downstairs to the little store in the corner of our building for popsicles.
The kids cafes
Our corner of Korea is so very family friendly. The Big Girl is already wondering if she will be allowed the amount of freedom she has here to roam freely and play outside (and I’ve been putting off my answer, which is likely, ‘no’). After two years of feeling like I never quite belong, the threat of leaving finally makes me realize just how much we all have come to love it here.
I don’t know if we’ll be back someday. It’s funny to think how much the hope of coming back has kept us all from breaking down. Saying goodbye to our Korean national friends has been the hardest. With fellow military families, you always know there’s that chance your paths will cross again… but with our friends who will remain here that’s harder to believe.
Goodbyes are always bittersweet. I have seen this A. A. Milne quote many places lately, but it is a mindset I’m trying to embrace:
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
We leave with many good memories, and I am grateful for the experiences living in Korea has given us. I am hopeful that we will be back someday. Until we meet again!
(How fitting it is that my last post is on the 4th of July as we return to the U.S. I don’t plan to continue blogging there, but should you wish to see what we’re up to in the future you can find me on Instagram: ellen_pianist )