It’s something I haven’t thought about in a while, but a phone call from my mom the other day reminded me again. She received a brochure in the mail from Children’s Home Society & Family Services announcing their 2011 trips to Korea. CHSFS is an organization based out of Minnesota (Twin Cities area—large KAD population there from what I understand). Among their many services and events offered, they organize group trips to Korea for KADs and their families. There are numerous programs like theirs and I’m not quite sure how my mom and I linked in with them, but we did go on one of those trips when I was ten years old (1997). That was the first time I went back to Korea. I think I could best summarize that experience as positive and eye-opening. Frankly, I could dedicate a countless number of posts to those two weeks of my life or write a novel right now, but I’ll refrain myself and unpack those memories as I see fit on the blog!
Ever since the trip, I always imagined myself going back to Korea at least one more time as an adult. I’m 24 now which is, for all intents and purposes, adult enough. And I would absolutely love to go back. The questions that remain are when and in what context. As much as I desire to go back, I couldn’t just pack up and go tomorrow. Planning to go back to the country I was adopted from is not the same as planning a trip to Disney World. It’s just not. I already know full well that whenever I do go back, it will be a highly emotional experience. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s another way for me to keep collecting those pieces of myself and create a richer picture of my life. When I do go back, I want to go with an open heart and mind. I want to be completely present to the experience and absorb as much as I can. Planning for Korea will require a certain amount of mental and emotional preparation on my end. What exactly I mean by ‘mental and emotional preparation’, I still don’t know. Oh, and I barely know enough Korean to talk to a toddler, so..that is not helpful.
All these things said, I have no clue when I will go back. I asked my mom to toss the CHSFS brochure. Based on the description, the trip is still basically run in the same way. Not to mention it was composed primarily of parents and children with a few young adults. I don’t want a repeat of the same experiences and I don’t feel that such a trip meets my current needs. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to explore. Maybe I will go through KoRoot or an IKAA gathering. Part of me feels like this summer could be a good time to go, even though it would set me back financially. I’ll be graduating with my master’s degree this spring, so I’m already in debt with student loans. I watch some people grip their wallets so tightly that they stop living and it’s kind of sad. If there’s any experience worth blowing my money on, um, it’s this one! Once I enter the full-time working world, I don’t know when I’ll accrue the time to travel.. I just don’t know. Thinking, thinking, thinking. A girl can only wait so long, but I am being optimistic when I say that I WILL go back someday. Not going is simply not an option.