Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Half a World Away (Happy Blogiversary)

Happy First Blogiversary, friends.

It's been quite a year. I haven't posted as often as I would have liked, nor have I made much progress toward establishing what exactly this blog is, but having a space to write and share of myself has been refreshing, especially after so many years without. Even if I can't be sure who is reading or if there's even an audience who cares outside of my parents, it still gives me room to breathe, whether I'm at my most eloquent or my least coherent. A Blog of One's Own might not be quite what Virginia Woolf had in mind, but it does the trick.

Since I started writing here a year ago, a lot has changed -- in fact, had someone told me last November where I would be today, I would have assumed that this someone was crazy, or at the very least, that one of us had been drinking. Last week, I hinted at some big news, promising that today I would "post something Blogiversary-worthy and wear some fancy shoes." Well, I've slipped on my shiny, 4-inch heels, so here's my news.

Adam and I are moving to Korea.

In January, we will be making the 12-hour flight half a world away to begin a year in Seoul working for an English school for children. I will be teaching immersion classes ranging from preschool- and Kindergarten-aged children to fifth grade students, all based on the American elementary school model. While I'm in the classroom, Adam will be working primarily in research and development for the school's textbooks and curricula. My contract doesn't begin until a few weeks after Adam's in February, but the school has been amazing enough to work it so Adam and I can fly out together; I'll just have a couple extra weeks to get acclimated, playing homemaker and taking exploratory runs around the neighborhood in the cold, eyes wide and mind blown open.

Our certifications in TESOL, our quiet head start on paperwork -- before we even had interviews -- back in September, our lifelong loves of language and travel and adventure - everything has been leading up to this. To anyone feeling like we've been exceedingly quiet and unduly keeping secrets, please don't feel unimportant -- we simply didn't want to risk very public disappointment had plans fallen through (and Adam only just put in his notice at work today). The littlest hiccup could have blown this ship off its precise, delicate course; honestly, it still could. Between getting fingerprinted, applying for and awaiting results on FBI background checks (good news: we got them back Monday and neither of us has a record of arrest! Surprise!), collecting official transcripts and letters of recommendation, getting diplomas notarized and mailing documents across the country and back for various government apostilles... we're still diligently peeling back layers of red tape. If everything goes smoothly enough, we should receive our visas from the Korean consulate come Christmas. We won't know the exact date we leave until we've secured our visas; until then, we're learning a little Korean and busying ourselves with the gradual task of packing up the few belongings we'll keep from our beloved apartment then getting rid of the rest.

(One thing's for sure: preparing to move to the other side of the world challenges my notions of materialism and puts the details of daily life into perspective. As I get older, I'm growing more sentimental about collecting memories and becoming less attached to Things. Some Things have significant sentimental value - books I just can't part with or souvenirs of time and life that I love and know I won't really be able to find again - and those are the Things I will keep. Everything else can be replaced when I'm ready to settle into a sense of home that feels a little more permanent.)

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

All in all, I am excited. Scared, anxious, overwhelmed, and excited. I am absolutely heartbroken to be leaving Eliot behind for now, but Adam's brother and sister-in-law are generously welcoming him into their family while we're gone, and I know he'll be happy and well-loved -- that is, if he survives my sobbing, snot-covered cuddle-squeezes when I hug him goodbye. I will miss my furry baby terribly, just as I will dearly miss my family and friends. I will miss Seattle something fierce and everything about it that makes it home, but I am hopeful that after a while, we'll start to feel a little at home in Seoul, too. And I know we'll be returning to Seattle someday, and to our loved ones, furry or otherwise.

Ready or not, life is only going to get crazier from here on out. The holidays are upon us and our departure date will be here before I know it, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving (tomorrow already? How did that happen?) and my first Blogiversary: thank you, everyone. Thank you for reading, thank you for holding me accountable, for holding my hand, for letting me word-vomit all over your interwebs every so often -- thank you, thank you, thank you. I'll keep posting here as this adventure unfolds, and next year, I'll be blogging Gangnam Style.

So Happy Thanksgiving, friends, and Happy Blogiversary. Here's to throwing off the bowlines, sailing away from the safe harbor, and hoping you'll come along to help me anchor this unmoored life.


  1. Wow, congratulations Kait! I've loved your posts til now,... just think what you'll be saying next anniversary - what a year it will be! I can't wait to hear about the new life that awaits you both

    1. Thanks, Nat! I promise this won't turn into some weird, sporadic travel blog... it'll still be a weird, sporadic 'whatever' blog :)