Today’s article is written for the Reach To Teach Teach Abroad Blog Carnival, a monthly series that focuses on providing helpful tips and advice to ESL teachers around the globe. This month’s Blog Carnival is hosted by Sharon Couzens over at TEFL-Tips. I’ll be posting a new ESL related article on my blog at the beginning of every month. Check back for more articles, and if you’d like to contribute to next month’s Blog Carnival, please get in touch with Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will let you know how you can start participating!
For those of us who struggle to think of a suitable address and phone number while filling out forms, the concept of ‘home’ can be a little more uncertain, a little more ambiguous. I’ve been lucky to live in a handful of places that felt like home over the past few years.
At what moment did you finally start to feel like you were at “home” during your time living abroad?
The feeling of being at ‘home’ never struck me in a single moment, but rather as a gradual process. My my path over the past few months has involved some definite culture-shock-induced bumps!
So when did I start to feel like I truly belonged here?
- When navigating subway stations and buses started to feel a lot more natural, and when I could breeze between transfer points without that telltale look of ‘slightly confused foreigner’.
- The first time I took the express bus home without having my face glued to the window, concerned that I would get off the bus a Paris Baguette landmark too early (yes, this definitely has happened).
- When the owners of the gimbap restaurants, bakeries and cafes around me started to greet me with a friendly smile and remember how I like my coffee.
- When I discovered more and more how much I loved Korean food!
It’s why I have an entire blog category devoted to eating in Korea, after all.
- Discovering a beautiful and unique side of Korea that few casual tourists stumble upon.
- When I started to realize how fond I’d become of many of my students!
It’s been nearly six months since I hopped onto that cross-Pacific flight, and although the transition hasn’t always been easy, I’ve found a place in the world I’m happy to call home.
How to fall in love with your new address, according to Holly
Visit local independent businesses. Become a familiar face to the shopkeepers in your neighbourhood. Find your favourite Korean BBQ restaurant. Go for long walks, and stumble upon the local temple (!). Find some small thing to appreciate about every day, even if the weather is bitterly cold and you’re all too painfully aware of every kilometre separating you from those you love.
Above all, take it one day at a time, find ways to keep doing the things you love, and stay positive! ❤
Where do you call ‘home’, and what made you start to fall in love?