Thursday, June 25, 2009

Homesickness musings

The beginning of summer in Canada is marked by both national holidays (St-Jean, aka Quebec Day and Canada Day), celebrated within a week of each other. To be honest, I don't really celebrate anymore- it used to be fun when I was younger, but these days I'm just happy to have a day off to sleep in (yay for pride). I was just looking at my pictures from Korea last year, and I remember how homesick I got around those holidays. I went out of my way in to Itaewon (the international neighbourhood of Seoul) to eat Quebec's national dish (which I never touch on a regular basis), and my friends and I hosted a Canada-themed party on our roof. It's crazy how when you're abroad, you miss things you normally don't care much about, or take for granted.

{St-Jean celebrations in Seoul}

{Canada Day roof party}

Other example. Our Thailand trip marked the most difficult point of my year in Seoul. It was the halfway mark, and I couldn't do it anymore. I mean, all of it: the living abroad, the new culture, everything. Thailand was beautiful and exotic, but I just wanted to get out of there. And be home. I remember one night, Aaron and I were drinking cocktails on the beach... planning our escape from Korea. And being serious about it. Even though it meant losing a lot of money, we decided to go back to Seoul, buy our plane tickets home and just fled the country (in other words, do a midnight run). We knew we'd be banned from ever returning to Korea, but we didn't care. I remember going to bed that night and telling Aaron, "I just want to wake up and be in Montreal. This is a nightmare". There we were, on the most beautiful beach in the world, longing for home. We ended up going back to Seoul a few days later, and things quickly got better. We gave it another chance, and it ended up being the best part of the year. I'm glad we didn't end up leaving early. And now that I look back, I wish I just enjoyed my time there, instead of wasting time missing home. Now I'd give anything to be on that beach in Thailand.

Homesickness is just such a weird, painful feeling. And when you look back it seems so... foolish.

{Kho Phi Phi Island. The beach we loved to hate}

Pssssst- Wanna know what my favourite summer activity is? 

8 comments:

Kelly said...

i love the roof top picture! that sounds so fun :) I'm the worst at being homesick...i call home and get even more upset!! i need to do what you do...

Vivian said...

well i'm probably not the best at giving advice for homesickness, i almost left the country, haha.

but really i got over it- new friends, discovering the city, coffee & magazines from home, good foods...

Coffee_c said...

C'est drôle que tu parles de la St-Jean et du fait que tu t'ennuyais... De mon côté c'est totalement l'inverse! J'ai tenté de célébrer la St-Jean cette année même en étant loin et je réalise à quel point j'aime le Québec. Mais je ne m'ennuie pas.

Et puis je suis tes conseils : je ne me pose pas trop de question par rapport au retour et je profite de chaque minute ici...

Thanks to you darling!
xxx

Nicole Marie said...

wow thats crazy you almost fled! when you say things were tough you really meant it! thats crazy! i just can't imagine how you must have felt to seriously be considering leaving.

but that beach is gorgeous and hopefully you'll be able to go back one day and really enjoy the beach!

Nicole Marie said...

wow sorry i'm exhausted i dont think anything i wrote made sense.

K @ Blog Goggles said...

We all have our moments when we want to escape. Luckily, like yours, they seem to pass. Glad you stuck around!

A Girl in Asia said...

I can really identify with this post! When we were living in Cambodia I had some times when I was really ready to go home - had enough, sick of everything, dwelling on everything negative...then the feelings somehow passed and everything was good again. I haven't really gone through this in Saigon, but I don't have the some emotional ups and downs about living in Asia here as I did in Cambodia (maybe I'm more used to life in Asia now!).

Melvin said...

Amazing pics ...
thanks for sharing...

___________________
Melvin
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