To Those I Love at Home and Elsewhere

Dearest Family and Friends,

It can be difficult, high-maintenance and frustrating to keep in contact with all of us jokesters living abroad. Just to call, some serious time-zone math is involved and it is both inconvenient and mind boggling, I know. Yes, it is Thursday here, Korea is technically in the future! It is also necessary to have several extra smartphone apps downloaded exclusively to talk for free. People who know the difference in functions of Whatsapp, Skype, and Viber, you know who you are.

On behalf of myself and all my friends in Korea, forgive me for the social media blow-ups.  Surely, the pictures make it seem as if we are all just living it up 24-7 over here in Asia. While we certainly know how to have fun, remember that the social media storm is just our highlight reel. We work 40 hours Monday to Friday and pay bills just like you and the hours we spend teaching are downright EXHAUSTING, not unlike any job you may be working back in North America. We just happen to be in Eastern Asia…

We often have a myriad of crazy stories to tell and sometimes these stories tend to dominate the conversation. Frankly, it is extremely difficult to talk often enough to relay all of life’s minutia in 20 minutes normally, let alone having to schedule a casual cross-Pacific chat. Knowing this and having dealt with the joyous malfunctions of Italian internet studying abroad, I try to get the majority of my big ideas out via this blog so as not to bog down our conversation time. But, I am not always successful and I tend to write and talk a lot in general anyway! Whoops!

Another more devastating aspect of life abroad is missing many important life events such as weddings, deaths, graduations, and engagements to name just a few. Sometimes even more upsetting are the countless silly laughs and the quotidian minutia shared between roommates that I have so desperately missed hearing. Undoubtedly, I will miss many more important life events in the future. I never want to miss these things. Know that while it may seem that I am missing those events because I don’t care, this is simply not true.

I wanted to write to you to say thank you. Thank you for downloading skype, whatsapp, and viber and for calling me, texting me or for answering my calls. Thank you for diligently keeping a time to talk to me despite the excessive time zone difference. Thank you for listening patiently as I ramble on about my experiences here, and more importantly, for continuing to tell me all about your lives. Life can appear quite busy via Facebook, and while it is busy, I still long to know about what is going on in other parts of the world and I am always interested.

Thank you for making an effort when I have sometimes made none. Thank you for listening to my stories on the phone and for reading my stories on this blog. Thank you most of all, for your understanding that I am imperfect at communication. I am still learning how to balance my life here and my life at home. So many wonderful people here surround me who have become like family, but there is also no one like my friends and family at home. I dream of the day I can listen to my sister pound away at the piano and make something with my Mom in the kitchen and just sit and talk face to face with my Dad again about the world. Now, at the end of the day, I go home to my apartment alone and I know my friends here would agree that there is just nothing like a call from an old friend.

 

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2 thoughts on “To Those I Love at Home and Elsewhere

  1. Great post, Christine. Love to you. We return from Belgium on Tuesday, next week. Hang in there! You are having a great experience!

    1. Thank you so much, Lynn! It has certainly been quite an experience. I can barely believe that you are already leaving Belgium! I am so grateful I got the chance to visit you when you were living there and I will never forget you and your family’s generosity and kindness! I’m sure this is a bittersweet time for you but that you are ready to be home again. Safe travels and lots of love!

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