The halfway mark of my contract has passed, 19 Feb - 19 August. Before leaving home, a year seemed like such a long period of time. People always said time will fly by and boy were they right. I always find the last half of the year flies faster than the first…wonder what that will bring?
Where to start…this has definitely been a crazy journey. It’s hard to fathom that this time last year I had made the final decision to do this and start the application process to join EPIK. To think that this was when I was planning to move my whole life to a completely foreign country, one that doesn’t speak English, one that I have never been to and without any family or close friends. I left with so much hope, ambition, dreams…just a bag of emotions, both certain and uncertain about what my future held but just living with the excitement of starting a new adventure and just living in the moment.There has been laughter and tears over these past few months, but all to add to the memories and experience here.
Orientation was definitely a highlight. Being so well looked after, fed great food, nice rooms and the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends. I’ve managed to see a few cities in Korea, which I’m pleased about. But think this time around I’d like to see more than the same city…actually be a tourist…to not travel to a different city to just drink, which some weekends have been like =P I’m not saying this is no fun, it always is, but maybe I think I need to be a bit more productive with my time and money. I’d like to leave here (when I do) feeling like I had done more than that!
I’ve grown comfortable with my schools and have a semi-established routine going. I think I know Gunsan well enough now, the next step is to figure out some of the bus routes here a bit better. I plan to ride a few buses one quiet weekend just to see where they go. I do still love my area, but I am missing some of the little things that a bigger city offers. I plan to investigate Jeonju (a larger city an hour away by bus) a bit more, so hopefully that will ease that void a bit. Good thing is I have finally managed to find a dance studio there so at least I have that to fill in my Friday nights.
People still ask me ‘how am I still finding it?’. The newness has worn off but it is still an adventure. If I could go back and re-do a few parts, I would but no point resting on that thought- so no regrets =) I think homesickness has only finally kicked in now, especially with things quietening down here and with so many updates and changes back home. Guess that’s the con of deciding to travel.
The next couple of months here will bring a few changes. We’ll get to see who has decided to stay and who has decided to go. Say goodbye to friends and hello to new ones. It’ll be interesting for sure to see new faces all anxious and excited, exactly who I was 6 months prior. Guess it’ll be my turn soon to guide and teach the new recruits.
I think I’ve managed to get my head out of the clouds a little bit. I crunched some numbers and have some goals set for the distant future. Something to look forward to and stick to (or try to anyway..next update will tell all). More things to look forward to is to plan my winter vacation and to have my first white christmas.
I’m excited to see what the next 6 months has in store for me, but until then, here’s to the first 6 *glasses clink* gun bae!
My 11 days in Indonesia have come and gone- too fast for my liking. My short time there was nothing less than amazing. Indonesia is a beautiful place to relax and reconnect. I would have liked to be able to have extended my stay there to see more of what the country has to offer, but I’m still happy with what I was able to do.
The Indonesian culture; their way of life and the people; really make you reflect on the priorities in your life. I have gotten back to more of a minimalistic mindset since returning to South Korea. Seeing happiness radiate from local villagers (adult and children alike) and seeing what they have makes me re-evaluate my circumstances- what makes me happy. They have such a joy for the simple things in life, something I know most people in the more developed countries forget to do (me being a culprit also) that it’s refreshing to see this and enjoy along with them.
I hope to go back one day soon and get off the beaten track a bit more. Until then, I’ll just enjoy the memories I’ve created from these 11 days.
I’ll allow these photos to show you what I was able to see rather than go on about it (for those that have me on FB you can see more photos there)
Places I visited:
- Kuta, Bali
- Gili Trawangan
- Kuta, Lombok