On the way back to the U.S. from Vietnam for our summer vacation we decided to stop by Seoul for few days to visit my high school friends. Sung Kyu, Jae, and Hye Rim were my schoolmates in Auckland for over 3 years. Hye Rim was actually my very first roommate who helped me a lot with my terrible English during the first year. Sung Kyu was our head boy, he was always a big brother to everyone, so deeply caring about others. Sung Kyu and I later on also went to college together in Ohio.
We were all away from our families at very young age and in a way we grew up together throughout those years in New Zealand. The bond we created with each other was special when we lived together, learned together, went through all the challenges of adapting to life and culture in a foreign country together. So many laughters and tears we shared. My Korean friends in particular taught me so much about work ethic and self-discipline. And maybe a little bit about good food and good drinks. :)
It was so sweet to reunite with them 9 years later since our graduation in New Zealand, to wander around the streets of Seoul and talk about the old days, laugh at ourselves and the big dreams we used to have, or still do. It was also great to be able to introduce Ales to my dear friends. Bittersweet to say goodbye but I know we will see each other again some day soon.
During this trip I also got some time to stop by our J.C.Penney international buying office and hang out with the awesome team I work with on a daily basis.