On the morning of the 27th of November 2017, I will arrive in Seoul, South Korea, just in time for the cold winter weather. My bags will be filled with a duvet and jumpers, ready to brace the winter with the little and limited winter gear that I own.
A little over six years ago, I stood over my bags, as I do today, pondering what I ought to pack and what South Korea would be like. I was flying out to Seoul where I would stay and live for three months, taking a semester of Korean at a university in the big city.
Now, I am about to embark on the exact same adventure, again.
Except this time, I know what awaits. Sort of.
Despite having lived in Denmark when I was younger, I feel unprepared for the cold that will await me in the South Korean winter, although I have been warned. I have only ever experienced South Korea's humid summers with its typhoons and yellow rain. I remember days of being unable to sleep because of the heat, and, living in Southern France during most of the year, the heat is something that I have become accustomed to. The cold is not.
This will be a new adventure for me, and yet at the same time, it's a return to something I know well, and to a place that I could call home.
Upon leaving South Korea six years ago, I was homesick for days and months and years, just waiting for the opportunity to be able to go back... home. The opportunity didn't present itself, and one year passed, and then two and three, and suddenly six years had gone by, and I only had old memories left. I began to wonder if I would ever be able to return to the country. Now, finally, I will.
I am not nervous, I am not overly excited, as I suspect most travelers are, as they head out on a big journey like this, but I am happy and at peace with the wonderful thought of going back. I know that things will have changed in South Korea during my absence, and I know my experiences this time will be different from the last, but I feel prepared for that, and I look forward to see what awaits me at the other side of little planet Earth.
You - of course - are invited along as an observer into my life as a student and writer in a country far far away, and as such, I owe a few explanations:
What will I be doing in South Korea?
I will be attending the Ewha Language Center at Ewha Woman's University for a semester to learn Korean. This is also where I studied last time.
I have a decent grasp of the language, but I still have much to learn and my speaking and writing skills have become very poor from lack of practice. During the past six years I've only really been able to practice reading and listening skills thanks to television and books.
I will also be working on my book while I'm in South Korea. I am a novelist, and have set myself certain goals for how far I need to get in my novel during the three months I will be away.
Where will I live?
I will be living in the Dormitory at Ewha Woman's University. I will also have a roommate whose identity is of yet unknown.
How long will I be gone?
Roughly three months. 10 weeks to be more exact. I leave South Korea in the middle of February, so I'm really only there for the time of icy wind and snow.
How often will I blog?
Be honest, that's all you wanted to know, wasn't it...? I don't yet know. Last time I managed to blog every day to let my family and friends know that I was still alive. I shall attempt the same this time around, although it may be less frequent because I also need to assign time to work on a daily basis.
Realistically, I expect on average to post a blog every two days, but I will try to keep the daily blogging up when relevant things are happening.
Keep in mind that I will be studying too, so some days I expect that there simply won't be a lot to report on other than: "another freezing day in Seoul : took refuge in a study hall."
Will I blog about other things than life in South Korea while being in Seoul?
Over the past year, I have made numerous blogs about K-pop, have done translations and posts on culture as seen through BTS and K-pop. This is something that I want to continue.
In the past year I have posted an average of 1-2 blogs a month in this format, all of which have recently been gathered on this website. I will do my best to continue this trend and give you new content to enjoy every few weeks.
If you have any other questions, I answer them gladly, so leave a comment below, and I shall reply.