more than a year later

It’s officially been over a year since I’ve returned from my four months in Seoul, and so much has changed. I’ve finished my degree at UBC, I have four part-time jobs, and I’m starting a new school in September. It really feels strange that 16 months ago I had just arrived in Seoul with my friends, not knowing what to expect. Now, so many of the things that I do remind me of my time in South Korea. (Like making Korean Army Stew and Spicy Rice Cakes at home for my boyfriend, eating Korean-style shaved ice, and only eating Korean food whenever I meet up with my UBC friends from exchange…)

One of my friends recently went to South Korea for a month-long vacation, and seeing all her photos just made me miss it so much. Prior her to departure she messaged me a lot, asking about things to do in South Korea and about my experiences as well. It reminded me that it wasn’t just a dream, I was actually there for four months, learning and growing at my own pace and in my own way. The experience of exchange made me grow so much, and thinking back on the type of person I was before I left… it’s a change that I’m glad happened. Growth is never bad, right?

Thinking back, I’m not sure what prompted me to go on exchange. As a person I don’t really like to try new things or take risks – I’m that person who doesn’t like phoning in to make a reservation for dinner, and I rarely make the first move in a conversation. Seoul was so full of new experiences and it kind of ignited this newfound courage in me to try new things (like the raw octopus.. which I do not regret because it was so good) and to really work towards the things that I want. If I hadn’t kept pushing and reminding myself about my Go Global application and getting all the required documentation and testing done before I left for Seoul.. I might not have made it.

But I’m so glad that I did, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m hoping to be able to return to South Korea sometime in Summer 2018, hopefully with my boyfriend and some of my friends, so I can show and share with them my own experiences while creating new ones with them. I’m getting excited just thinking about it now, even though it’s a year away!

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