Today is the day. Today, we pack our bags, yet again, and say, “Farewell, South Korea.” Or, more aptly, we say, “안녕히 가세요.”
Truth be told, I don’t think it’s really hit me – or us – yet. We got our orders late in the game whilst we were in the Philippines. We knew it was coming, but it crept up on us and, now, it’s time for us to go. To say that my heart hurts today would be an understatement, but there’s also that beautiful undercurrent of excitement. So much opportunity awaits, and so many adventures lie ahead.
Camp Humphreys has been a challenge for our family. From weathering a two-week quarantine upon arriving on the peninsula to dealing with intense pandemic-related restrictions for much of our first 13 months here, we faced a lot. And yet, against all odds, South Korea became our home. We found our beautiful church family here. Ryan and I made our way back to the temple in Seoul. We enjoyed evening walks in the rice patties, saw more temples than we can count, and embraced the beauty of this incredible country.
South Korea will forever be the place that we, as a family, spread our wings. We’ve always been adventurous, but South Korea presented so many unique challenges for us all. And yet, we grew. We evolved. The boys are thriving in homeschool, and this will forever be the place where I finally found the courage to teach them myself. Mieke learned Korean, fully assimilated into the culture, and became a truly one-of-a-kind little lady. Ryan weathered unique opportunities and challenges – like a three-month tour working closely with the Marines here in Asia. I grew my photography business, and I’m eager to continue it in Alaska.
Friends, South Korea hasn’t been all fun and games. There have been just as many homesick nights and missed family moments. We’ve lost loved ones whilst overseas. But, as military families do, we endured. We persevered. We thrived. I will miss this beautiful country and her incredible people. I will miss the complete comfort and assurance of the goodness of people here. Above all else though, I’m forever grateful for this beautiful adventure and challenge for us all.
Farewell, South Korea. We love you.