Monday, April 28, 2008

Seperation Anxiety

This will be a thoughtful and reflective blog about the feelings one faces when they approach a very big change in their life.

Despite all the careful planning and keeping yourself up to date on everything there still remains the feeling inside that something big is about to happen to your life. I could be exaggerating here, and when I am settled in Korea I might look back and think "Ah, that wasn't too bad." But underneath everything I know I am going to become separated from my existing life, family and country. I will leave behind my daily work routine (wake up 6:30---come home at 6pm) to a new routine I don't even know what it will be like. Family and friends will be far away.

Yet what will be the most distant is that which is familiar.
  • Hearing English spoken in the streets.
  • Being able to see English on signs.
  • Going to the grocery store and knowing what kind of vegetable or fruit I am buying.
  • Easily finding my way to a public toilet.
  • Knowing the customs of the land.
That which is familiar to us is what makes are lives seem homely. I think it is the moments when we are out of our most familiar surroundings that we become vulnerable to the world of the other.

Let me though remind you that this is exactly what I want. I want to be the FOB (Fresh of the Boat). I want to experience what it is like for the millions that come to America to start their lives fresh. With only their money and suitcases. I want to know what it is like to be split apart from all that you know is familiar and to be put in a land that is unfamiliar. Certainly I am no fool to think that Korea is any less modern than America. I will find all the comforts of home there: Internet, hot water, shelter, TV, music...). But what won't be familiar is the same cultural code.

So if you have read this far...I guess I am just trying to say that with about 26 or so days left to go ....... I can't wait!


  1. It is so exciting. I'm still not sure exactly when I will leave and where in Seoul I will be. I have two friends living in southern Seoul. I should know soon where I am going. It's nice to see how another is planning the whole thing. Looking forward to reading more of your blog as well.

  2. Don't worry about the grocery store. Things might not be in exactly the same packages you are used to seeing - and you certainly won't find all of the same foods.

    As far as fruit goes there shouldn't be anything too unfamiliar. You probably will see more strange greens than anything. It took me a while to find things in my grocery store. I could find milk, but not skim milk.

    It was a good day when I found skim milk on my own. :)

  3. Thanks! It is encouraging to hear all your comments. I am sure it won't be such a mess as I think it will be. ;)

    I wonder if they have taco spice though..haha.


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