reflecting on 9 months in south korea

9 months in south korea

What’s up friends? Happy April! I’m late posting. Again. Honestly, the blog funk is real, and we’ve been so busy lately that posting has been low on my list of priorities. For the first time ever, my photography business is busy, and almost every “free” moment is spent either coordinating sessions or shooting sessions. It’s awesome, but it’s definitely been an adjusting. The boys had spring break last week, and now we’re on the final stretch to summer vacation. Most importantly though, we marked 9 months in South Korea late last month, and it’s inched us ever closer to that one-year mark. Crazy, right?

How We Feel About 9 Months in South Korea

For a duty station that averages two years, 9 months is a big deal. Right now, command sponsored assignments to Camp Humphreys are two years long. You can extend for a year, or you can even do an IPCOT and extend for two more years, which offers some pretty sweet benefits (like a free trip home). If you do the two years then PCS to your next station though, 9 months is big. It means you’re precariously close to your service member’s marketplace opening again and, slowly but surely, turning your sights toward what’s next.

When we first came to South Korea, our initial intention was one hundred percent to do the IPCOT. If you ask us today, however, our answer changes day by day. Honestly, we don’t know for sure. South Korea has been so good to us – even in the face of all the challenges with this COVID climate overseas. We’ve experienced so much, and we’ve explored a country so vastly outside of what we’re used to that it’s been an adventure like no other. But there have definitely been challenges, too.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple Busan

hiking in south korea

suwon hwaseong fortress

sogeumsan suspension bridge hike

Tando Island Sea Crossing

currently february korea

gamcheon culture village busan

If I’m being honest, I do miss familiarity. I miss the convenience of knowing and going to multiple supermarkets if I can’t find one thing. I miss simple trips to Target just because. I miss not having to use my GPS for pretty much every drive beyond Pyeongtaek and Sosabeol. The kiddos miss their grandparents. It’s little things that slowly but surely get under your skin.

This adventure, however, has been incredible, and we’re soaking up every second we possibly can. While our grand plans of exploring all of Asia were sort of sidelined by the ongoing pandemic, we are starting to see a shift toward some semblance of normalcy. Quarantine restrictions are gone. The world is gradually opening again, and we’re hopeful that USFK decides to continue to mirror the shift that South Korea has been undertaking, as well.

So, I don’t know where next year will take us, and I can’t tell you with complete certainty what we’ll decide, but I can tell you this: South Korea is amazing. This has been an incredible opportunity for us, and the kids – against all odds – are thriving. I can’t wait to see what the next 14(ish) months in South Korea bring our way, and I’m crossing my fingers that some travel lies ahead!

Tell me – What sort of questions do you have about our time thus far in Korea?