Trip Down the Memory Lane

Yes, I know. It’s been too long. I’ve been drafting over and over again trying to figure out what to say as my ‘update’ post but it all ended up sounding too heavy and wordy. So I decided, I can update you slowly. For now, I’m going to go with a light post. You all know I’ve decided to settle down in Korea after 18 years of living abroad so I thought a perfect post would be to show you my memory of Korea before leaving (back in 1997). So, this weekend, I decided to go back to the neighborhood I spent 2 years in before moving to Cambodia. I was surprised at how much I still remembered. I didn’t even need a map to revisit all the places.

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The house we used to live in. I remember visiting the neighbor’s everyday since both of my parents worked.

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The daycare I used to go pick my sister up at everyday. She graduated from University today.

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That uphill looked MASSIVE when I was 7 years old.

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The house in front of ours – I used to play by those walls under the shade.

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I used to collect coins and go to the small hole-in-the-wall store at the bottom of the hill. Looks like they’ve been closed for a while. :(

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The only school I’ve been to in Korea. I was here up until half of 2nd grade.

It’s always bitter sweet revisiting old places. It definitely brought back a lot of memories. So, with this post – I promise you more regular updates.

My New Chapter

Many things have happened since the last time I updated you on my life. Last thing you probably remember is me announcing that I am quitting my job, leaving, and traveling for a while. And then I went silent… The past few months (9 months to be exact) has been eventful and a lot happened – not just physically but also emotionally. I’m hoping to tell you all those things when I’m ready to put them into words. For now, I just wanted to tell you the state I’m currently in.

Through my travels, I had a lot of time and opportunity to think about myself, my situation and my future. I got the chance to realize and rediscover what it is that I want to do and what makes me truly happy. I weighted those thoughts with what I think is best for me and my plans changed… immensely.

If you follow me on my Facebook page, you’ll know that I am currently in Korea, a place I call one of my ‘homes’ but have a hard time connecting myself to. I was also here few months ago. There are a few reasons why I’m back here but one of my main reasons is that I decided to give Korea a chance and stay here for a while.

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Deciding to live in Korea:

As you may have read, I am Korean but I left Korea when I was 7 years old. Ever since then, I visited a few times but never really had the time to connect with this place – a place where I understand the language, love the food and look like everyone else but a place, where its many cultural aspects were puzzling and frustrating to me.

When I came to Korea couple of months ago, things started to change. I thought ‘maybe, I should give it a chance… If not now, when will I ever have the opportunity to come back and live here? If I really hate it, I can always leave.”

That was exactly what I thought and decided to do – but when I went to Cambodia, my thoughts started to change again.. ‘I’m not ready to settle, work and live the conventional life I left… I’d rather spend this time exploring and living in other places and doing projects that are worthwhile. I want a free life.’

But, I’m back. I’m in Korea. I have mixed feelings about it still but right now, I’m pretty certain about it. I’m going to give it a chance – be it a month, year, 2 years or more. After all, I am a Korean. If I don’t try living here now, I’ll never know. It’s unfair for me to not be here because of my prejudice and expectations.  And I seem to have found the right type of people who stop me from doing anything conventional. What will I be doing here? I’m going to be learning new things I’ve always wanted to learn, be it dance, sports, a language, etc. I’m going to try jobs that I’ve always wanted to try – be a bartender, barista, freelancer, teacher, yoga instructor etc. I’m not going to pressure myself to be a certain type of person.

I’m pretty confident. I’m pretty excited. I think it’s time for me to let go of all expectations and give this new chapter a try. 

Friday Fantasy

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m still sick and have lost my voice completely but it’s Friday and I’m happy. Haha.

1) All-in-one package in Belize: Lillie from Around the World “L” released her honey moon destination and resort the other day and I have been envious beyond words – also, funny side note, I bumped into her at a bar yesterday where she was having her bachelorette party! Talk about small world! Anyway, she is off to Belize to stay at this beautiful hotel called Ka’ana, which seems like a resort I’ve always wanted to build (not happening anytime soon but a girl can dream). It’s like a perfect destination to get the luxurious experience yet be adventurous and cultural! Belize was never on my list of countries to visit in the near future but that may change very soon – especially after finding out about this resort. For now, I’m satisfied with a backpack and hostels though. :)

2) Biking through Norway: The photos of Norway from the blog, Cycling 4 Cancer, is amazing. I’ve always fantasized about traveling on a bike but never have the guts to actually do it. Maybe one day – I need to get fit first (that’s just an excuse, I know). Anyway, Norway is definitely the place I am going if I finally do decide to get off my butt and cycle :) Make sure to check his blog post for more pictures and awesome stories!

Photo from cycling4cancer.wordpress.com

3) Paragliding in Korea: Korea has a lot of places to go do outdoorsy stuff. Koreans love water sports, bungee jumping, etc. but I’ve never gotten a chance to do any of those while I was in Korea. Like I’ve mentioned many times, I definitely need to travel Korea someday even though I am Korean and I’ve been there many times. It’s one of those things where you take for granted if you are there and keep looking elsewhere when in reality, you should learn to explore your surroundings first and learn to appreciate them! Anyway, when I go to Korea, Paragliding in on my list!! Scared but it’s on my list! Haha Check out post by Alex for more info!

Photo from fromkoreawithlove.org

4) Romantic cafes in Berlin: I love cafes and coffee. It’s one of these weird obsessions I’ve had for a long time. I’ve been in love with what coffee or cafe symbolizes for the longest time. Coffee just reminds me of having ‘me’ time or just taking things slow and enjoying the smell, taste and the atmosphere. Coffee to me is not just caffeine I need to drink early in the morning and overdosing throughout the day – which is probably why I NEVER drink coffee just to keep myself awake. I can only get myself a cup if I just wanna relax and savor the taste. I’m weird. In high school, I did a whole line of art pieces just using the coffee theme – I even painted using coffee – explored different types of coffee and used coffee beans as art supplies. Anyhooo- I love cafes and ones that have character. Planning my trip to Europe, it’s actually one of the things I’m looking forward to the most. Visiting different cafes all around Europe. Since my first destination planned is Berlin, here’s a beautiful post of a cafe called “What Do You Fancy Love?” in Berlin. On my list for sure!

photo from shethoughtoutsidethebox.com

5) Yoga retreat on a yacht: By now you know how much I am obsessed with yoga, especially outdoor yoga surrounded by water. So when I read about a  8 Day – Yoga Retreat in the Riviera, I thought “get me over there now” until I saw the price and I though “I’m satisfied with my yoga studio for now.” But can you imagine – yoga retreat on water plus traveling to different places? Read more about it on Jaunt Magazine.

Photo from jauntmagazine.wordpress.com

What are you fantasizing about today? Hope you had a great week and have an awesome weekend.

Happy Friday!! :)