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.


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. 


The only way to see where you are or where you are going is by stopping.

Map and Compass

Couple of years ago, I was going through a very confusing transition. I was trying to figure out what it is that I really wanted to do in the midst of my thoughts on what I thought I should be doing with my life. Everyone goes through a confusing period like this in life and instead of focusing on solving the problem by thinking it through, I kept myself occupied with a very busy schedule trying as many different things as possible hoping that down the road, something will pop up. Instead of getting answers, I just got even more frustrated and was on the verge of crashing, losing all motivation.

And then time stopped and I was given a chance to think. I had gone on a ten-day trip to Laos thinking I’d get a mini holiday sightseeing and exploring the country but I was wrong. Arriving in Vientiane, I was shocked at how calm and quiet the city was compared to any other cities I have been in. It was almost if time had slowed down in Laos. Initially I hated how bored I was but things changed after a couple of days.

My ten days in Laos consisted of not only walking around, reading books, sightseeing and sitting at a cafe observing my surroundings but more importantly, learning to appreciate doing nothing and in return having the chance to focus on me and only me.

I was able to stop, let go of everything and turn full attention to myself (having barely any internet connection helped me disconnect with the outside world as well). I was learning to be more attentive about my needs and desires, and to reflect on my past, present and future. And everything changed since that moment. I started seeing things in a different perspective which consequently made me happier and more grateful towards life. When others ask me how Laos is, I say it’s beautiful but boring – and that’s why it’s one of my favorite destinations. Laos teaches you how to do nothing but the most important thing everyone needs to learn how to do – stop and reflect.

The only way to figure out where you are going is to stop and look at your surroundings. Sometimes you need to stop, take a break and just focus on nothing else but you.

Dose of Inspiration: Growing requires you to get out of your comfort zone.

You cannot grow and be comfortable at the same time because growing requires you to get out of your comfort zone.
I get a lot of inspiration from my yoga classes. This particular quote was from Erica, one of my favorite yoga instructors in Boston (if you are in Boston and need a dose of inspiration and a kick for your abs, go now)! I heard this quote when I was stressed out about the idea of leaving and going towards what others would see as ‘not normal.’ My heart was telling me that going after what I want to do is the right thing to do while my mind was sending red signals to my brain telling me that it was a crazy idea and that I should just stick to what I know how to do – and to be completely honest, part of me was scared to leave.
The reason I love yoga or any other sports or dance for that matter, is that it teaches you to get out of your comfort zone. I first fell in love with sports when I was 14. I have always been the creative/musical type, loved everything art, played in a jazz band, sang in choirs, etc. Anything that required me to use my non-existant athletic skills, I stayed far away from – until, our basketball coach saw us doing nothing after school one day and made us come try out. To my surprise, I got into the team and since then, I’ve tried any sports I could – not just a hobby but with passion. Basketball, soccer, all types of dances, yoga, kickboxing, the list goes on. The more I challenged myself physically, the more I realized I could get out of my comfort zone and it usually led to better things, made me a better person.
That’s how things are in yoga and in life – at least that’s how I look at it. As I sat at the beginning of class wondering whether the decision I made was crazy and unnecessary, I was just worried about leaving the familiarity and going into the life of unpredictability, something I am not comfortable with at all. But, at the end of the class, I knew that nothing new is comfortable (like my new boots that still kill my feet) and in order for me to go beyond where I am now, I need to get out of my comfort zone.
So, thanks Erica for the awesome inspiration. Check out her class schedule on her Facebook page