Q: What are some things you miss about living in America?

As the holidays, the big ones at least, near, I can’t help but feel a little twinge of sadness and loneliness. It’s never easy being apart from family or friends, but there is something especially lonely about being apart during this part of the year. Even though my family doesn’t really celebrate the holidays, the atmosphere in America is wildly different than it is here. So, I decided that this would be a great time to list a couple things that I miss about America while living in here. Oh, I should add, as I write this, I’m listening to Christmas music (yes, I’m one of those people who listens to Christmas music LONG before Christmas comes), so I feel a little extra sad while writing this.

#1: Holiday Ornaments

I don’t know if this just an American custom or if it’s a Western custom, but I feel like for our major holidays, we have some sort of themed decorations that we put up to celebrate it. If you, like me, come from a family that doesn’t personally take part of the festivities, it’s easy to enjoy when you are out and about in any store, neighborhood or public place, ESPECIALLY around Christmas. I feel like here in Korea they don’t celebrate anything to the same extent. I think some American franchised stores put up some ornaments during some major holiday. I miss seeing homes with decorations and stores filled with too many festive ornaments.

#2. Food

I miss the taste of Mac & Cheese, lasagna, home cooked food, eggnog, American styled cakes, candies, and chips. I enjoy the food here, but sometimes when I think about some of the food back home, especially holiday food, I miss home a little more. You can find some of the American food in Korea, but it tends to have a Korean twist on it. Nothing is wrong with that, but sometimes you just want to taste the food that can bring you back to your childhood. I haven’t had a bite like that in forever. I’m glad they have carrot cake here though, I don’t think I could handle having a birthday without my go-to favorite cake. That might’ve been a deal-breaker for me. 😅

#3. Diversity

I didn’t realize how comforting it was to live in a country where everyone looked different. I definitely took that for granted. The comforting feeling knowing that you aren’t the only other person for miles who looks like you. I was blessed to move to a large school were there are actually 11 other foreign teachers besides me and have a couple of those teachers live in the same apartment as me, but other people aren’t as lucky. Even with 12 other foreign teachers working along with me everyday, the foreign population is still relatively small here. In fact it’s so small where I live that when I spot another foreigner on the street I freeze for a second uncertain what to do and, like the Koreans, I stare a little bit. 😂 Then they spot me and I wave sheepishly 😅. I miss not having to explain my skin color and give a reason for why I look the way I do. (This hasn’t happen to me a lot but it has happened a couple of times, mostly from kids, but that’s a story for another time. It’s not bad, but boy was it AWKWARD. 😂).

#4. Communication

Texting was my thing back home, but these days I find myself calling more than texting just to hear the sound of people’s voices and talk comfortably to people. I miss being able to hear the voices of people I haven’t seen in a long time. The ease of our banter, flow of our conversations, and the jokes and jabs that passed in good humor and are understood with no explanation. I even miss hearing sarcasm along with blunt, direct, honesty sometimes. Here, I think there are lot of things that are spoken between the lines, and if you don’t pick up on the unspoken words then it’s kind of difficult to understand what the person really means. Indirect comments and statements is quite normal here.

Well, those are just a few of the things I miss about America, especially around this time of the year. Most times I can cope with the loneliness cause I have blessed with amazing friends (Korean and foreigners) and co-workers who try to make my life here comfortable and pleasant. If I didn’t work with the kind of people that I do work with on a daily basis, I don’t think I could’ve lasted as long as I have. So, this holiday season, I’ve decided to count my blessings instead of worrying about things that I don’t have. Maybe this winter will be easier to get through than last year’s. The questions concerning whether or not I will move back home hits different around this time of the year.

Wow, I haven’t done a post like this in forever. Do you guys even like these kinds of posts? If you do, let me know!

Until next time,

See ya around, friend~~

Posted by:ThatKoreanLife

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