I haven’t done a great job at keeping this blog active – oops – but I will shape this post to stay true to its purpose; to share my adventures, both through world travels and intrapersonal discoveries.
Three hundred & sixty-five days ago I packed my life into two suitcases and boarded a plane to a country I had never set foot in, ready to call it home.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Here goes a year in review through wanderlust and mindfulness~
“awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally” – Kabat-Zinn
Three hundred & sixty-five days later, I can literally say I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into. The past year has been a roller coaster of experiences, emotions and adventures. I’ve had to deal with situations I had never been faced with before and it somehow all brought me closer with my own self.
It’s amazing how a moment of time can move so fast, or so slowly, depending on how it is experienced. When I thought one year in Korea would be long – it has just flown by.
The past year has been the greatest adventure of my life. I have grown, learnt and achieved things that I never thought I would be capable of doing; things that cannot be listed, checked, or put on a CV. Things that I never thought I would feel proud of doing because they always seemed so meaningless. Things like successfully negotiating your first item, in Korean – yeah stupid things like that.
They are things that now allow me to appreciate things from back home or change my outlook on other aspects of life.
The past year has given the opportunity to see life through another set of eyes (and ears).
“If it were easy, everyone would be doing it” – definitely applies to the crazy year I have spent in Korea. It definitely was not easy at first, and some days, still isn’t.
Building a solid circle of new friends, learning the local language, finding activities/hobbies, and accommodating to a new work environment can be very overwhelming – and it was. I was completely thrown out of my comfort zone. But no one was going to make friends for me, speak Korean for me, or do my job. I had to bite the bullet and make it happen – and I somehow did.
I now have amazing friendships (that I cherish more than anything), too many hobbies and not enough time, and learnt to draw my limits in the interesting Korean work culture that I am in (this in itself could be a separate blog post).
The people are the most important part of this journey (of any journey in fact) and I have been lucky to have met the greatest people in Korea. They have helped me in many more ways then they will ever know. I am so grateful to have them.
Although I have been kicked out of my comfort zone, I have been able to create another type of zone in which I feel at ease; my daily adventure zone.
Taking a look back at all the obstacles I had to overcome, I am pretty damn proud of myself and grateful to have been kicked out of my comfort zone.
“a strong desire to travel”
Who wouldn’t want to travel in Asia?!? My move was a little strategic, c’mon.
My wallet has definitely felt the effects of my “strategy”.
With a mixture of leisure & business trips, the past three hundred & sixty-five days have been the most consecutively travelled days of my life (so far).
Thailand, Italy, Japan, Canada, Philippines, Japan, Okinawa (Japan), Philippines, Brazil, Bali, Jeju (Korea) + multiple locations in Korea.
My passport will definitely not last me 10 years if I continue like this.
The best part is that I had the chance to meet up with so many friends & family from back home, and find amazing travel buddies in the new friendships I’ve made here. True travellers will know that good friends don’t necessarily make good travel buddies and vice versa.
I have grown to appreciate impromptu shorter escapades rather than planned, 2-3 weeks journeys. I used to pick 1-2 destinations per year, buy the Lonely Planet and marked all the things I wanted to do and places I wanted to visit.
I now look at travel times from Seoul, see what I can fit in a weekend, book a ticket and hotel and figure the rest out when I am there.
I am definitely traveling & adventuring rather than toursiting.
Korea is an amazing country; with its own set of unique characteriques – some that are are completely throwing me off, and others that resemble home.
It has given me a lot to discover; externally and internally.
I will not stay in Korea forever, but will forever be grateful for all it has taught me.
It’s not the end just yet. I still have more adventuring to do here.
Thank you to everyone how has been a part of this adventure.
Here’s to the next three hundred & sixty five!
-she lives for adventure in Korea