I lived in Korea for 5 years. Here's what happened when I came home to Nebraska.

Rarely do people talk about what awaits when your expat life ends

After traveling, one can see the vast differences in lives across the world.
(Image credit: Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo / Alamy Stock Photo)

I spent five years living in the clamor of Seoul, South Korea, and the smaller provincial capital of Jeonju. When I finally returned home to rural Nebraska, the silence was palpable. The negative space had an almost oppressive quality. I would look out on so much land and see nothing and be reminded that this was the same landscape that once caused homesteaders to lose their minds.

I had come home — literally, this was the Nebraska town I grew up in — to take a job at a small newspaper in Scottsbluff. The first night back, I lay awake in my childhood bedroom of my parents' farmhouse straining to hear anything, inside or out. Only the silence answered back.

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