We just returned from our vacation in the United States. It was an absolutely wonderful trip and so nice to get away from our daily routine. The clean air, green mountains, blue lakes of Northern Idaho, and the prairies dotted with horses and cows under the big sky in Montana were breathtaking. We lived in the Pacific Northwest for over ten years, but we never appreciated it as much as we do now. “That’s why the Congress mandates home leave every two years,” I thought to myself, “So you can appreciate how great a country U.S. is and represent our country proudly overseas.”
However, it was the gathering with long-time friends in Seattle that became the highlight of our trip. Due to our time constraints, we were able to stay in Seattle just overnight with our best friends and then enjoy a breakfast (dim sum) with many others before we headed to the airport. My friend has been very busy, being a mom of a five-year-old and a two-year-old while pursuing her Ph.D full-time and working part-time. We did not really keep in touch regularly in the last two years. But you know you are good friends when you can just pick everything up right where you left it. And that’s exactly what we did into the early morning hours that day. We talked about many things – life in Korea, life in the Foreign Service, her school, her family, how to juggle between kids and work, etc. Our three-year-old son also played very well with her children. I kept thinking that if we had stayed in this area, they could have become the best of friends. Honestly speaking, with the convenience and modern life in Korea, I have not missed the U.S. very much. Nevertheless, nothing here in Korea came close to replacing the friendship that we have built up over the years back home. When it was time to leave, I hugged my friend and told her, “you know, I really missed you guys!” I tried very hard to hold back the tears.
I am truly grateful that behind our life adventures that brought us to far-away places, we have a place where we had put down roots and can call “home.”
Once again, my wife has written another excellent journal entry to post on World Adventurers. Although a few weeks old, it captures some of best moments of our trip to the United States in May. I will return again tomorrow.