I was born in South Korea. When I was five, my parents, my sister and I moved to Canada. We left behind pretty much all of our family, but I was so young that I didn’t really feel the impact of leaving so much behind.

I always felt a pull to go back and reconnect with them, but this wasn’t realized until I turned 9. My parents took my sister and me back to South Korea to visit with our family and to re-immerse us in the culture. Unfortunately, the trip was only ten days long. Most of my memories involved rushed visits with family I didn’t remember from my younger days, and being jetlagged.

I do have one clear memory though – going to a mall with my mother and sister. We were in a glass shop and there were little glass toys everywhere. My mother bought us both a little glass animal representing our Chinese Zodiac: a rooster for me and a sheep for my sister. Because we were still quite young, I know she didn’t expect us to keep such fragile items for very long.

To this day, both my sister and I have kept our little animals in pristine condition. I view mine as a frequent reminder that I will someday return to South Korea and make a proper visit with my relatives. Because we had been out of touch for so long, they felt more like strangers during that visit. I want to make a better connection, and also wander through the country on my own terms. Someday soon.