Nov 06

The 100 Day Countdown

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Koreans tend to celebrate anniversaries and countdowns in days, not months and years. A couple will celebrate their 100 day anniversary (and if they make it that far, it’s considered a pretty big deal), and later their 300 day, 500 day, etc.


Yesterday was a momentous occasion for me if I were to use the Korean method of counting: I have only 100 days left in Korea! It was also the day I signed my job renunciation. My coteacher handed me the paper and I signed it without a second thought. It was quite the contrast to last year, when I couldn’t bring myself to sign the renewal paper and let it collect dust on my desk until the deadline. Even though I cried and drank heavily on the day of my renewal last year, I am glad I stayed in Korea. Had I gone home last year I would have left with bitter memories of Korea–and significantly less money.


In the past year I’ve had time to sink more comfortably into my lifestyle here. I’ve made more amazing friends that I’m so grateful for; I’ve developed more relationships with my students as they’ve finally started opening up to me; I was able to buy a car and explore the countryside in fun road trips; I traveled to Borneo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Taiwan, and I’m going to a tiny surfing island in the Philippines for a new years getaway with some of my best friends.


It took a while, but life finally blossomed for me here. No, I never found a boyfriend. No, I didn’t have time to do much writing. And no, I didn’t even fall in love with Korea. But I made the best of what I had and I’ll leave with fond memories of my time here. For now, I’m working my tail off to save every last penny for my big trip next year, trying to get my health under control, and spending as much quality time with friends as possible. I’m tired. I’m really, really tired, and even though there are things I love and will miss about Korea, I am constantly dreaming of the freedom that is growing close and that I’ve worked so hard for.


100 days and counting…

  • 115 for me…FIGHTING!!!!

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      FIGHTING! Yay for countdowns 🙂

  • Laura

    I completely know how you feel! I do love Korea, but my feet are getting itchy! I have a little bit more left and am trying to make the most of it – getting out and exploring Korea helps with that for sure!

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      Good thing there’s always lots to explore in Korea! I’m heading off to Jirisan in the morning. Kind of dreading the cold though! How much longer in Korea do you have?