It is absolutely crazy how fast this summer went by. I am glad that I’m back in the states, but there will always be a part of me that wants to go back to Korea. A return trip is definitely on the horizon. These past few weeks have been an absolute blur. Adjusting back to our normal time zone was a bit of a struggle. There were many four to five hour naps in the middle of the middle of the day. I have been travelling nonstop since the time I landed. Whether it was for work, fun, or moving in my freshman sister, I was always driving somewhere. This entire trip I’ve felt like a nomad– packing and unpacking constantly.
There is so much to take away from this trip that it’s hard to put it into words. From a cultural standpoint, it is so intriguing to experience a different country for an extended period of time. You truly get to immerse yourself in the culture. Matt and I had a ball figuring out how Seoul works– from the subways and buses to the Korean BBQ, this was culture shock at its finest (and we loved every minute of it). We were also shocked about the amount of help and generosity we received from everyone around us. Whether it was directions or free food, it always seemed someone would go out of their way to help us. Then there’s the food. That’s one of the things I’m going to miss the most. There was nothing like stuffing yourself with pork and beef at a Korean BBQ after a long day in lab or after a long hike. Their food is so unique and such an important part of their culture and I am going to miss it so dearly.
I also want to take some time to thank everyone that made this trip possible. This whole trip wouldn’t have materialized if Sam didn’t mention it in the first place. This was an amazing experience and I can’t thank you enough Sam! I would also like to thank Drs. Lee and Jablonski for allowing us to work in their lab this summer. Matt and I have learned so much this summer and we are forever grateful for this amazing opportunity. We are very excited to continue the research this fall! Finally, I would also like to personally applaud the help that we received from all of the graduate/undergraduate students! There is no way we’d be where we are right now if it wasn’t for all of your help. Matt and I really appreciate it. We look forward to getting into contact with all of you soon!
Overall, this has been an incredible trip. From hiking to the highest peak in Bukhansan in a storm, to jamming out with other crazy Koreans at Ultra Korea– this has been the experience of a lifetime. This has been one hell of an experience and I am excited to see where it leads us in the future To anyone out there that has the opportunity to travel/study abroad while they’re young, DO IT! It is such an amazing experience and you aren’t as limited as you will be in the (near) future. I am sad that this trip is over but I am so looking forward for my next opportunity to do something like this soon. Thank you Korea for one of the best summers ever! 감사합니다