Endings and beginnings
I find myself in a bit of a surreal yet familiar place – the clear ending of a life phase giving way to the emergence of a new era. I’m reminded of how I felt right before moving from Chicago to S. Korea: thrilled, scared, overjoyed, anxious, eager, nervous, doubtful, confident and so on. I'm feeling ~all the damn feels~ during this sometimes intense and heavy transitory period.
While I usually find endings nostalgic and melancholic, because these two emotions are intrinsic to my personality, there’s an element about definitive conclusions that I cherish. After all, clear finales signal that it’s time to begin anew.
Before I lay out my post-Korea plans in detail, let's briefly take stock of the things that transpired in SoKo over the past two years. Some of the things I did…
I taught English to elementary school students. I made lifelong friendships. I partied too much in questionable EDM clubs. I cried myself to sleep a few more times than I care to admit. I hung out in nature. I hosted dinner parties in my lovely apartment. I had crazy weekends in Seoul. I felt lonely, insecure and homesick. I kissed a few Korean cuties. I hiked mountains. I self-published a book and co-hosted a launch party event. I grew more and more into myself. I gained confidence and perspective. I ate all the Korean BBQ. I blacked out a couple times. I traveled to Taiwan, China, Japan, and twice to Chicago. To name a few.
To honor the special period I spent living in this wildly amazing country, here is a very amateur montage video. You've been forewarned that it’s poorly made given I have zero video-making skills, but I think you’ll dig the music.
And now, it’s (almost) time to travel!
In a matter of days, I’ll board a flight to the Philippines to commence the solo-backpacking trip my 19-year-old self dreamed up all those years ago. I have a one-way flight to Cebu and a list of countries I want to visit. This is it: Philippines > Singapore > Indonesia > Malaysia > Thailand > Vietnam > Myanmar. This route isn’t set in stone but will serve as a rough itinerary to allow for spontaneity, improvisation and flexibility.
I want to travel for about 6 months but the determining factor will be funds and my state of mind. I’m eager to travel slowly without any time constraints hindering my whims and desires.
I know for certain I want to become yoga certified and potentially work at a hostel(s). I’ll try to write intermittently about on-the-road tales and provide travel updates. Big emphasis on the try as oftentimes our most noble productivity intentions don’t pan out while gallivanting to far-flung locales.
For now, I’ll return to trying to pack my life into a 60L backpack (while having near meltdowns as I realize I own too many toiletries and I don't want to part with any of them) and attending unending farewell gatherings.
It's been real, Korea.