So I came back to America.I made it back to my last airport at 11:59 pm [on August 11] (no joke, 11:59 pm iPhone time). I was (most of us were) on planes and airports for over 24 hours. It gives you time to start transitioning back, and there were many things I felt the need to readjust to as I was coming back.
For example, American flight attendants seemed rude in comparison to the mostly Korean flight attendants on our flight to Korea. Also, as a general rule, as people, we approach each other differently in the US than in Korea. In Korea, it is not typical for strangers to talk to you, unlike here. However, you regard strangers more comfortably. In the US, when we approach people or people approach us (in proximity, not interaction), we are more aware of them. Then tipping at restaurants, had to do that again, even when the service was bad. Delivery was about a dollar in Korea, while it’s over $7 here. We don’t really sort trash as much here (for recycling). People usually care less about casual presentability here (i.e. we often dress purely for comfort when there is not an event that requires fashionable attire, which is a contrast to always dressing nicely in Korea).
There are highlights. I got to see my family for a little bit before I went back to college. I got to see the language change from Korean to English in each phase, as you go through the Korean airport until you exit the American airport. Coming back, there was still a continuous flux of things to do. I had ANS club meetings, interviews, books to order, letters to write, etc.
What I really want to say about leaving Korea is that I enjoyed my time there, that I feel that there was a lot more that I did not experience, and that I am going to miss my friends there. What I really want to say about being back is that I missed my family and friends here, that there are a lot of things (socially) that are more visible to me coming back, and that I’m now more sure of how I would like to contribute towards making the world a better place.