Hawaii was the perfect trip. It was vacation and it was home at the same time. I went to a luau, went snorkeling, hiked a volcano, ate at Subway (3 times), and shopped at Wal-mart.
I'd never been to Hawaii before, and it was everything I imagined. Our hotel was across the street from the beach, so we went every day. The waves on our beach were tiny, so we didn't surf, but we watched a lot of other people try. They mostly paddled and sat. We took an island tour one day, which included the Dole plantation, swimming in a waterfall, eating free macadamia nuts, and learning more than we ever wanted to know about all the movies that were ever filmed in Hawaii. I should have counted how many times our driver said "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." We went snorkeling and saw lots of big colorful fish. I ended up with a lot of salt water in my mouth. All week long the weather was a perfect 85 with no humidity.
I think the thing foreigners in Korea miss most about their home countries is the food, especialy the cheap, unhealthy fast food. And I got my fill of it during those 10 days. Everybody asks me what Hawaiian food I ate, and besides the luau, I didn't have any. Oops. Being able to communicate with the cashiers and waitresses made me feel like a real person again. Small talk is definitely one of those things you don't miss until it's taken away from you.
Coming back to Korea was hard. Not only is it not paradise, but I had to say good-bye to my family and one of my best friends. And then 2 days later people's contracts ended, so I had to say good-bye to more Korean friends. And then I had to go back to work. I haven't actually taught a class yet, but I still have to show up and sit at my desk. My co-teacher had her baby while I was gone, so I'll meet her replacement soon. I've been told she's an old high school teacher. Yay. But, Ashley reminded me that if I didn't live here I wouldn't have gone to Hawaii. So thanks for the vacation Korea, let's do it again soon.