Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

Do you celebrate Chuseok?

Do you go back home for the holidays?

If you’re from South Korea, you might be heading home for Chuseok.

Wherever you are going, you want to chat about it with friends and co-workers.

In today’s episode, you will learn English idioms that will help you build connections.

Chuseok in Korea

Aubrey starts the episode by sharing details about Chuseok.

She has read about this and was fascinated by this holiday in Korea.

She shares that she is intrigued to know about holidays from other countries.

It’s interesting to learn what traditions they observe during celebrations.

Chuseok is a Korean holiday that will be celebrated this year on September 10.

It is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month.

It is one of the year’s most important traditional holidays.

As Chuseok is a day set to celebrate a bountiful harvest, it is often referred to as Korean Thanksgiving Day.

Family members gather from all over the country for memorial rituals called charye.

These include traditional Korean food arranged beautifully on a charye table.

Holiday traffic around the world

Lindsay and Aubrey are reminded of how much they love celebrating Thanksgiving.

It is always fun to go back home and celebrate the holidays with family and friends.

It gets even better when you are gathered around a feast.

Chuseok is a three-day holiday and there is an estimated 32.26 million people expected to go home.

Traditionally, Koreans return to their ancestral hometowns to celebrate with their families

This causes one of the biggest traffic jams of the year as people take to the road to reach the provinces outside of Seoul.

Traffic happens everywhere during big holidays, like Thanksgiving in America.

Holiday celebrations are always good conversation starters.

Even if there are different traditions, there will be aspects we may have in common, such as bonding with family and feasting on food.

Idioms For Going Back Home

If you are going back home for a holiday, you will want to chat about this with friends and co-workers.

There are idioms you can use to build connections when discussing going back home.

Practice using these to sound native and natural.

#1: Return to your roots

This can be used both literally and figuratively.

Literally, it means to return to where you grew up.

This is the physical move to go home.

If you use it figuratively, you mean to return to how you were raised or morals.

This is returning to the behavior you grew up in.



  • I’m excited to return to my roots for the holidays this year.
  • I miss my family. I need to get back to my roots!


  • I’ve been drinking too much. I need to get back to my roots!

#2: Mixed feelings

This means having conflicting feelings.

Not everyone is just 100% happy to go home.

You can be happy for some parts, but there will be other issues that you are not happy to face when you go home.


I have mixed feelings about my hometown.

Some people have mixed feelings about divisive political topics.

#3: You can’t go home again

You can use this idiom to describe how returning to a place you visited in the past won’t be the same.

This is very idiomatic.

You don’t necessarily say this if you’re heading home.

You can say this when you go to a place that you know will have changed when you visit again.


  • My hometown is so different from what I remember. You know what they say. You can’t go home again!
  • I went back to Paris and it was not the same! You can’t go home again!


Lindsay and Aubrey share a roleplay using the idioms shared in today’s episode.

This will help you better understand how to properly use them.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Aubrey are friends and they are discussing their holiday plans.

Aubrey: Are you headed home for Thanksgiving?

Lindsay: Yes, I love getting back to my roots whenever I can.

Aubrey: Sometimes I have mixed feelings. I always know there might be some divisive conversations!

Lindsay: I hear you. And it can be sad when you see your hometown isn’t always how you remember it. You can’t go home again!

In this roleplay, Aubrey mentioned the word “divisive.”

divisive: causing disagreement or hostility between people

Lindsay and Aubrey discuss the idioms discussed in the roleplay.

While discussing, she used the word “wistful” to describe a feeling.

  • wistful: to have a feeling of nostalgia


It’s so fun to learn about holidays in other cultures.

Lindsay and Aubrey loved chatting about Chuseok.

It sounds like such a fun celebration.

You can use today’s idioms when sharing about your own holidays and connecting with others about your culture and theirs.

Sharing your culture and how you feel about your hometown is one of the best ways to get to that deeper level with others.

Do you go back home for any holidays?

Use the idioms from today’s episode to share about it in the comments below.

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