I turned in my badge and wrote an official resignation letter for my job. I’m sad because it was a wonderful job, but it was my time to leave. My temporary job of four months is also complete after several projects. I feel relieved at the moment. I tend to go crazy if I am not working, but I am taking the opportunity to read, study Korean, prepare for Korea, exercise, and spend time with friends in Jacksonville because I may not return here. It is a bittersweet feeling. I’ve been wanting to Jacksonville since 2007, but there was a period of time when it grew on me. My prime time in my life was the last two years of college when I felt the most comfortable, but those days are over. I miss academia, but I wanted to explore and go forth into personal exploration. Hence, I’m shooting off to Korea to discover more about my motherland and to foster the relationship with my birth family. Not only that, but I get the opportunity to teach children English, wedding my passions in education, linguistics, and developmental psychology. While kids can drive me crazy, I’d much rather work with them (esp. Korean kids) than pesky adults. I cannot think of anything more challenging yet satisfying than what this year will bring.
Yesterday morning, I got an email from my recruiter that I was placed in Gwangju, South Korea. I have not yet visited the 6th largest city, but I can already predict that I’ll be content with the location. First and most importantly, I am only 1.5 hours away from my parents in Jeonju and a 3-hour KTX bullet train ride away from my sisters in Seoul. It makes for a nice weekend getaway. Further, I am not far from Jeju-do, the beautiful Hawaii-like island that I am longing to visit. I will be living in a metropolitan city – not caffeine pumped like Seoul, not farm country Damyang – but a nice middle ground. Gwangju is located in southwest Korea, making the winter temperature is a bit less unbearable. I hear Jeollonam-do people are brave and friendly and their accents are thick, not too different from what I’ve grown accustomed to in the south. Additionally, the food is famous among Koreans. I look forward to eating exorbitant amounts of food, but burning it off by walking everywhere and hiking in the nearby mountains on weekends.
Gwangju, my future home.
Well, it’s 11:00am and I’m home, about to go for a leisurely jog in this wonderful sunny weather. After Tropical Storm Debby and flash floods, I’m pleasantly surprised by this day. From here on out, however, it is going to get worse as summer and humidity progresses. It’s no different than Korean summers, I suppose!