My coworkers in Korea looked at me askance when I told them I was going to California for the weekend. Granted it wasn’t an ideal length of time; a 10 hour flight and the huge time change makes it a tad bit difficult to adjust and enjoy the time there. But there was no way I was going to miss my friend’s wedding.
This post could also be called “Why Living Abroad Sucks”.
I love my friends. I love them so much I genuinely have a hard time believing other people love their friends as much as I love mine, which I assume is a pretty common thing. But I have yet to be convinced I’m wrong. So when Elaine got engaged about a year ago, there was no question of if I was going to go. I piled up the three personal days I have from work and found a direct flight, giving me 4 days in California.
I am lucky. I got to be there for her engagement party and bachelorette party at Christmas. I was there with enough time in the 4 days to go to the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner and the welcome party and the wedding.
I got to pull my mom along so I could see her for a brief 48-hour window and pile all my loved ones together for a moment. I got to eat breakfast and linger over coffee with her and her husband the morning after the wedding. I am seriously absurdly grateful that I get to live half a world away and still be there for these moments.
Every time I go home it becomes really difficult to remember why we live where we live. When I’m saying goodbye and I’m crying and friends are constantly reminding me that it doesn’t have to be like this, it is hard. It is hard because it is a choice but it isn’t an easy choice, to decide between living my life abroad and getting to experience and learn, and being there for more moments with my loved ones.
It is hard because even though it’s a choice doesn’t make it any better to say goodbye knowing you won’t see your mom for a year.
It’s hard because I made it this time but I won’t be able to make it every time.
But all of that is beside the point, because I went, and it was beautiful. How amazing is it to see someone you’ve known for almost 10 years so blissfully happy and brilliantly beautiful and in love and so content with life?
Also, wine! Cheese! Olives! I seriously teared up a little when we walked into Whole Foods. It was just so beautiful. Guacamole!
Now commences my back-to-Korea ritual, wherein I miss my friends terribly, pine over the good food no longer present, and peruse Zillow for remotely affordable houses in the US of A.