Tuesday, September 24, 2013

There and back again

When I said goodbye to my family and friends back in April, I really didn't think I would see most of them again until the following year.  My plan was to leave Canada and not come back until my time in Korea was done and I had gotten the travel bug more or less out of my system (I don't think I'll forever be rid of it...nor do I really want to be!).  I thought for my summer and winter vacations, I would travel around Asia checking many of the life experiences off my bucket list.  But, as the best laid plans of mice and men so often go awry, so did that one for me.

I wrote previously about how when I arrived in Korea, I found it difficult to adjust.  Combine this with the fact that travelling to South East Asia from Korea is much more expensive than I first thought, and the fact that I am fortunate enough to have access to standby tickets at a reduced fare, I decided to go back to Canada for my summer break.

Part of me was very nervous about going back for a break.  I mean, I had only been in Korea for 3 months and was still in the transition phase.  Would going back home just make me feel more homesick?  Would I even bother to come back to Korea or just stay home where everything is comfortable and familiar?

Regardless of what could/would happen, I prepared to make the long flight back to Canada for a 2 week holiday.  First though, I had to teach 2 weeks of English summer camp.  Essentially English summer school, the camps are when the teacher has free reign to teach anything they want to and are not required to follow any textbook or curriculum.  It was suggested to me to teach something that I was passionate about.  Of course, the theme of my camps was "Exploring our world"...or more specifically, the countries of Canada, Switzerland and Australia - my top 3 favourite countries in the whole world.  We play alot of games, and did arts and crafts (making a passport; creating aboriginal art) and I think they all really enjoyed it.  I even got the grade 5 students to sing "happy birthday" to Switzerland, since "Swiss day" happened to fall on the national day - August 1st.

I had intended to leave on Friday afternoon, but when looking at how busy the flights were in August, I decided to try to leave a day early.  I had to beg and plead with my school to convince them that since I would just be sitting at my desk for the next day and a half, I'd be better off trying to get home since I wasn't really sure I'd get on any of the flights for the following few days.  They accepted, and so I packed my things and headed out to the airport.  Flying standby always has its good points and its bad points.  Main bad point: you sometimes don't know until the last second if you will get on the flight causing much stress.  But one of the good points can sometimes be this:

After a long, but comfortable flight, I was very happily home.  Oh how nice it was to see my Fabian again!

My favourite view in Ottawa

Back where it all started!

Since I was only going to be home a short time and still had a lot to do and many people to try to see, it was a very busy visit!  Filled with lunches and dinners and coffees and many laughs, it was a really great time!

I went back to my mom's for a few days to visit with family, who were all missing me as much as I was missing them.

Nap time in the car

Summer dinner in the gazebo - corn on the cob, hot dogs, and a "poutine-off" between two local favourites!

Staring contest!  Smokey vs. Fabian

We also spent a few days in Montreal, where Fabian got to attend his annual Metalfest, while I got to celebrate the last single days of one of my oldest friends (sadly, I would miss her wedding because I would be in Korea) and see other friends that we had in Montreal too.  A nice vacation within a vacation.

My sister was due to have her 2nd baby at the end of August, but since I was there in the first half of the month, we were all hoping that she would "pop" while I was still around.  It seems he will be a very obedient little boy...he was born just before I left!

Little baby Jake

A final dinner gathering with friends back in Ottawa, and before I knew it, it was time to get on a plane and leave again.  Of course, I was sad to leave, but this time, there were fewer tears at the airport.  Maybe because we had a better idea of what to expect?  Fabian and I have found ways to maintain close contact despite the miles between us.  Thank goodness for Skype, kakao and OTO Global!  I've said it once, and I'll say it again, I don't know how I'd do this without technology.

The flight back to Korea wasn't as comfy as the trip to Canada, but I was grateful to get on just the same.  The stress of not having a set flight can be pretty draining.  Part of me was wishing I wouldn't get on the flight so that I could have an extra day or two at home, but another part of me was wishing I did leave so that I wouldn't run the risk of not getting back in time to start the new summer term.  In the end (literally, the last moment before the plane closed its doors for take off I boarded), everything worked out and I was back in Korea, with all of my "Canadian supplies" to help get me through the next few months in Korea. :-S

1 comment:

  1. Your Canadian supplies are too funny! But now you need to write a blog post of Korean snacks, as Daniel suggested...