Finally Going Home...After 20 Years
I was born on an airplane. Almost literally. I had to leave my home country, South Korea, even before I could walk or talk. Thanks to my parents' job, I have to live like a nomad. Every 2-3 years I have to pack my bags and move to a new country. I've only been alive for 19 years but I've already lived in 7 different countries and attended over 15 schools. (Fun story: I even had to miss my graduation and finish high school early because my parents had to move to yet another country!)
Before I go on to explaining why I created this campaign, I'd like to make one thing clear: I have never, ever felt any malign feeling towards my parents for this vagabond lifestyle. While some may find it too unstable and challenging for a young child to be exposed to such spectrum of emotions and experiences (i.e feeling lost, having to say goodbye constantly, having identity issues, not having any deep relationships), I was -- and still am -- very thankful for these opportunities. So, why am I here? Why am I on this site, asking people to help me return to Korea?
This year I moved from Mexico to the United States to attend college. If you've been to college, you'll understand what a strange, emotional thing college is. College is a bundle of anxiety, crisis, sadness, happiness, and everything wonderful and terrible. College is also about finding out who you are, what you want to do, and what you want to be.
These past few months I've been reflecting about my identity, a topic I've been avoiding for practically my entire life (mainly because I found it painful thinking about places I once visited that no longer exist, or people I loved that I can no longer meet, etc.). And it came to my attention that I haven't been to the country of my birth, my roots, and my family in years! Does my grandmother know who I am? How will my aunts, uncles, and cousins react when they see me? How much has my 'home' changed since I last saw it? Is the hospital that I was born in still there? What high school did my parents go to? The curiosity and thought of visiting a place that's so close yet so far from who I am excited me.
This Winter break, I'd like to visit my home country. I want to reunite with my family and I want to visit the places that I'd always dreamed about but never seen. I want to try my people's food, speak my people's language, wear my people's clothes, celebrate my people's holidays, and most importantly, I want to finally embrace my blood/birth identity.
Unfortunately, travelling from the US/Mexico to South Korea is quite pricey. I'm not sure if I will have enough funders to travel this Winter break, but I would really love to do it before the mayhem of midterms/finals and internship-searching resumes. I would be grateful for any help, be it emotional or fund-wise. Thank you for your time!