This weekend my brother came home from Long Island so we could all have one last dinner together as a whole family! We ate at a place in my hometown where I had my last meal at before I studied abroad to Korea in 2017. We also ate here when I was notified of my Fulbright finalist status! It will be over a year until I see my brother again.
The goodbyes have started. I’ve been staggering my goodbyes with different friends every few days and although it’s been emotional, it’s been positive and hopeful. Although I have some apprehensions leaving for a year, my friends have all remained super supportive and have expressed how proud they are of me. It makes me so happy to know that I have such thoughtful, close-knit friends in my life. They mean the world to me and I’m happy that they’re only a text away.
I also had my last goodbye with the faculty at the high school I student taught at this year. We went to trivia night at our local bar. There’s this digital jukebox at the bar where you can use an app to add songs to. After multiple failed attempts, my co-workers were finally able to get the Korean national anthem to play over the sound system at the bar, which is honestly nuts. But we felt triumphant. I would ask for no other kind of send off from them.
As for other business, I only just got half way through with my TEFL course, so these next few days will be spent grinding through the entire course. It’s a little bit upsetting because I rather be spending this time with friends and family that I’m not going to see for the next year. I’m going to pick up my visa tomorrow in NYC. I sent the tax exemption form out but have gotten no response. I also redid my fingerprints for the FBI and received my results back within the day. Now all I have to do is apostille it and I’ll be good to go. I still need to make a few copies of my passport photos to give for my ARC at Incheon airport. I also made a little shopping list of some small things I need to pick up before I fly out.
This time next week, I’ll be starting my new life on the other side of the planet with a new group of friends. A new family. A new school.