Tomorrow I return to my other motherland: South Korea. After spending 4 years living and working in various cities in Korea, I left in summer 2012 indefinitely to travel South America with a friend. It was the trip of a lifetime in many ways, and opened me to a whole new world of culture and language. The trip also marked the end of my life in Korea as I knew it.
It's now been over a year and a half since I left Korea; the longest I've ever been away since I first set foot there in 2006. I miss it everyday, and I often make anecdotal remarks about Korea in unassociated conversations. I'm so thrilled to have the chance to go back to cross paths with old friends and visit some of my favourite places.
While living in Asia, I had the chance to visit many countries in the area. I visited (in order) China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia. I also visited the DMZ and technically stood in North Korea... if that counts. There are many more countries in Southeast Asia that I want to visit... one of which is the Philippines. I've often had casual plans to visit this island paradise, but I didn't end up going there while living in Korea.
So, I'll be visiting Boracay in the Philippines next week! I am flying from Seoul, as it's much cheaper to fly within Asia than it is to fly direct from Toronto... and I also like the idea of traveling to more than one country on a trip. I can't wait to sink my feet in the sand and to scuba dive again. As I've never been to the Philippines, this will be the 47th country I've visited. (I'm secretly trying to get to 50 countries before my 30th birthday).
I am so looking forward to walking through the immigration line in Korea and feeling at home. Although I am technically home already at the moment, it feels like tomorrow is the beginning of a kind of homecoming.