Post exchange blues

I have this love-hate relationship with Finland. Sometimes I really hate being in Finland. But sometimes I also love it more than anything. We have fresh air, good bread and amazing chocolate. Now, I am aware that most of the things I love about Finland are food. But listen, I also love how when I look outside my window in middle of the night, I see the Puijo tower and there are no people and no cars anywhere to be seen. It feels so relaxing after 4 months in Korea just to finally get some peace and quiet. In Korea I had to share a room so whenever I was in the room I was never truly alone. And that was really frustrating and draining sometimes. I need some time to be able to be alone sometimes. I need some time to breathe. And here in Finland I have my own room, my own space with a beautiful view. And whenever I look outside my window here, I feel peaceful. It's quiet and I can breathe.
Still I really miss Korea. Sometimes I miss Korea so much that I feel like I can't do anything. I miss my friends who I made during my time there, I miss bibimbap, I miss the skyscrapers, I miss trying to talk in Korean. I miss so many things and even thinking about those things makes my heart ache. Of course I can still someday meet my friends, I can make my own bibimbap and I can still try to talk in Korean. Even if people will look at me like I'm crazy. But it doesn't feel the same. It doesn't have the same magic in it, the wonder of doing all these things in a foreign country. Here the only thing I keep thinking about is "This is it? This is all? Is this really my life now?".
I googled to find out if there were others who felt like this when they got back from their exchange and apparently almost everyone gets post exchange blues or reverse culture shock. I'm not sure if those are the same things, but I can definitely relate to the definitions of both of those. I feel so lonely to be back in Finland because I have no one to talk about this experience. Someone who has gone through the same thing as I have. And as for the reverse culture shock, I still keep bowing whenever I go to a store, always receive everything with two hands and wonder when the cashier doesn't give my bank card back to me. In Korea I got so used to the cashiers giving my card back to me after paying. I actually forgot it wasn't a thing in Finland and accidentally left my bank card at a store on my first week back.. So now I'm without a bank card.

Are there others out there who have just returned from their exchange?


  1. Pakko mainita, että sun blogi on kyllä todella ihana :)