Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's going on back home?

a.k.a., Keeping in touch with friends and family.

One year is a long, long time to be away from loved ones. Time flies, but some phases are rough and not seeing your best friends or family for several months is difficult. I was lucky to have a visit from my sister, and several phone calls and emails from everyone else.

But keeping in touch is not easy- you have to work at it, and take time to write emails to each person. I write my blog so friends can see the funny stories happening here, but I like to write personal letters to close friends to let them know what's really happening, or if I'm really sad or homesick or happy... or just if I have some kind of issue.

When I first arrived in Korea, I loved to update everyone on Facebook, put tons of pictures of my new home, and I got so many nice little messages and such. As time went by, I started just settling down and having a life here, so things were not as new and exciting. I posted less pictures, or if I was really busy I'd write less frequently to my friends. However, thanks to Facebook, I am aware of what everyone is doing pretty much on a daily basis, and get to see their party pictures and their whereabouts. It's nice and convenient, but it doesn't replace a letter. I guess Facebook tells so much about a person's life that we get lazy about taking the time to write a real message.

And sometimes it makes me feel so far- I see pictures of my best friends, all together for a birthday party, and I hate not being there with them. But you know, life goes on and people still have fun. Perhaps they feel the same when they see my adventures in Korea, it's probably difficult for them to relate. Sometimes I'm annoyed because I find out about things through other people's gossiping, or I don't hear about friends for a few weeks. Or at times I feel so far and removed. But it's normal, people go on with their lives on each side of the world. And over the course of my year in Seoul, I've met an amazing group of girl friends, and I now can also turn to them when I have personal issues or just to share amazing moments, over some wine or brunch.

Nonetheless my friends from home have been amazing throughout the year, and have always been there for me (through phone or writing). I love waking up to an inbox full of messages or wall posts (because of the time difference, all the surprises happen in the morning). Sometimes I'm scared things will be different when I go back- will it be the same? Will we have stuff to talk about?

Also, being away makes you really value your friendships from back home, you realize how much you miss your friends, and what qualities were so amazing about them. And keeping in touch through writing is my preferred way of communicating, sometimes it's easier to speak my mind and really confide my true feelings.

So, keeping in touch while away: it's a bit of an effort from both sides, but a little message can go a long way on a lonely day in Korea.

{Pictures: good times back home}

1 comment:

Nicole Marie said...

I know just how you feel, and i was only in Italy for 6 months.thank goodness for facebook and being able to see whats going on in friends lives. just remember they're probably looking at your pictures and feeling jealous and wishing they were abroad too!