...and it's working.
First of all, even in the midst of the August-rainy-homesick-suckiness, I met some really awesome new expats. I sat next to Jenni and Nick (who blog at Shine on Korea and I Like-a Da Kimchi, respectively) on the flight from Houston to Seoul, and we hit it off right away. I don't think I've ever met a stranger, but I usually don't click *that much* with people that I sat next to on the airplane. After we talked for most of the flight over the Pacific, they still wanted to be real friends and grab dinner and drinks during our layover in Tokyo AND we met up a couple of days later in Seoul! Let me tell you, it was so very good for me to hear their first impressions! They loved everything, right off the bat. I was already missing my family and getting irritated with the little, every-day annoyances (I repeat, the spitting and the staring), and there they were, seeing Korea with fresh eyes! Listening to them love on everything was so. darn. refreshing. They'll be here for a year (or more?) with EPIK, a public-school teaching program, and they're living in Daegu.
NEW FRIENDS, I tell you. Favorite thing about expat life.
And guess where Nick and Jenni happened to have their EPIK orientation? Jeonju University, that's where! So, naturally we met up again for their first Noraebang before they left my lovely town.
NORAEBANG, I tell you! Korea, you so wonderful. How can I stay irritated with you when you have wonderful things like singing rooms? You're such a flirt.
And now September's in full swing. The temps have started to drop, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun has come out, and my life is returning to a lovely, busy routine.
September's already given me some excellent weekend jaunts. A friend of a friend went to see the beauty that is Suncheon, so I tagged along. Even in the rain, it lived up to its reputation with all the pretty nature stuff!!
Shortly thereafter, I had a *blissful* long holiday weekend on Jeju-Do for Chuseok (aka Korean Thanksgiving) Break, which happened to fall during the 2nd week of school. I got some good summer beeeeeeach time (with a happy light sunburn) and hiked the tallest mountain in Korea. YOU GUYS. Go to Jeju. Trust me. After a rainy, homesick August, it was the absolute perfect way to say goodbye to summer.
WEEKEND TRIPS, I tell you! Korea, you so pretty.
I promise I'll blog about those weekend trips with pictures soon...ish.
After coming home from Jeju, I headed to a jjimjilbang (sauna/spa with sleeping rooms) for a night and it was just what my sore after-hiking muscles needed! Hot water, hot steam, all that relaxation!
JJIMJILBANGS, I tell you! Korea, why you gotta be flirting with me like this??
Korea refuses to let me become a bitter expat. Every time I get close, she reminds me why I love it here. She reminds me why expat life is so exciting!! This life can be hard, but it's worth it. She brings new friends into my life, she throws me curve balls. It keeps me going.
I needed that.