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Trip Start Mar 15, 2008
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My new Apartment!

Flag of Korea Rep.  , Busan,
Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wow, it's really been awhile!!  Lots been going on for me though.  For the Holidays, I went home and surprised my family.  That was a lot of fun!!  They were pretty surprised :)  It was hard keeping it a secret, but I managed. 

Home again
Going home is always strange.  It's the same.........but different.  Not just the realization that YOU'VE changed.  I had that when I went away to work at summer camp the first time, or when I went away to college.  You come home, and you feel like, "Wow, I've changed so much, how can anyone treat me the same again??"  They try--the people you left behind--but eventually your "old you" and your "new you" mesh....and that's just who you are.  Not new, not the same, but still you.  When you're young, it's hard to understand that feeling.  I remember feeling a little resentful that the friends I left behind didn't want to hear all about my new life and how much different I was!!  The truth is, they just wanted me in their life, but it's no fun hearing every last detail about someone else.  The truth is you ARE different.  They will notice.  They love you.  That's something I had to learn though....and maybe am still learning.  Blogs are a little narcissistic...heh.

As I've gotten older...well, that feeling still exists a little bit when I go home, but I don't "blame" the other people in my life as much--for not understanding me. I find now, especially after living in another country--in Asia at that--it's ok if they don't understand. It's ok if they want every thing to be the same as it was before.  I still try to tell them things about Korea.  "Fun facts" I call them.  Sometimes so much that I'm sure they get sick of it...  The love me, and I'm not around enough, so they don't mind hearing it.  They'll never really know until they come here, and experience for themselves.  By the time vacation is over, the novelty of me being home wears off, and people just treat me like me.  And that's a good thing--keeps you grounded and honest. 

Goodbyes....

These last few months were the end of the school year for teachers in Korea, so many people headed out.  Goodbye party after goodbye party.  Some good ones left this time around.  One of my favorite things about traveling and/or living in another country is the people.  Meeting people.  I am a social girl.  So much so, that some of my best friends tire of hearing about all the new people in my life. The crappy thing is, when you are a traveler, you're just passing through.  Everyone is just passing through here.  Just when you think you meet someone you could really connect with--friend or even romantically, **poof** it's their last week in Korea!!  Of course it is!!  I've learned to value the time I have with people, learn from them, and let them go.  The first time this happened to me was, again, when I worked at camp for the summer when I was 19. I met all these amazing people, lived with them for two months--day and night, shared laughter and sadness, thought I would be in touch forever, couldn't imagine my life with out them, and then at the end of the summer we all went home.... It made me really sad.  It took me a long time to get used to that.  Now....I continuously put myself in that situation.  LOL....hmmm... Facebook has been kinda nice for keeping in touch these last few years though. 

Festivals
When I returned to Busan, I still had a few weeks before school started again, and it just so happened there were all kinds of festivals at this timeThe Lunar New Year was a big to-do in Korea.  Unfortunately, in Korea, the main events occur in the home...  I guess you have to go to China to experience the fireworks and all that.  They weren't in Busan anyway.  We went out to dinner, and celebrated not having to work the next day :) The next event was The Moonrise Festival.  This festival takes place on all the beaches in Busan at dusk.  It celebrates the first full moonrise of the new year.  Story goes, the first person to see the moonrise will have good luck.  There's traditional dancing, and then a hugebonfire.  I think that you can burn things in the fire, and it will grant a wish, or end something....LOL  I just tried to do a search of more info and failed miserably.  I'll have to ask a Korean friend.  Either way, it was a very beautiful event.  I'm a sucker for a full moon and a bonfire though...

New School, New Neighborhood
While I was in Cali, I was pretty anxious. Before I went home, I had some issues with my school.  The school I knew and loved and worked in for two years gave me the run around.  This is something that happens quite often to foreign teachers in Korea--inconsistency with schools.  My issues were frustrating, but no where near the worse case scenario.  I've heard some horror stories to be sure.  The "inconsistencies" to put it kindly, comes from the same issues you come across just living in another country:  language barrier, different work ethics, lack of representation, being a minority.  Sh*t happens basically.  The result of all of this drama is that I changed schools, and I was pretty anxious about it all.

At the end of February, I got moved a few dongs up, and am now happily at a new school, and in a bigger apartment!!  I now work at Guseo Girls Middle School.  All girls is new for me, but I bet it will be fun.  So far, it's been fun.  Me and Saja (my furry roommate) are happy in our new and bigger apartment!!  Plenty of space for visitors!!  hint hint.  I actually have a "kitchen area, " and an oven.  A small one, but it cooks things.  Also, my new neighborhood is with in walking distance to a university, so there is plenty of good shopping and eating nearby.  Nice.  I'm gonna save on the taxi budget.

Beginning my third year in Korea....kind of crazy how fast time has gone.  I'm doing well, and encourage visitors.  It's not always easy here, but I'm proud to say I'm learning a new language, a new culture, and I've been able to see the world more, thanks to this gig.  I love teaching and I love traveling.  What more could a girl want?  People ask me all the time when I'm leaving, and the answer is....I just don't know. I miss home.  I miss it a lot.  What I don't miss is worrying about money all the time.  Paying for gas.  Paying rent...  Tipping...heh.  I'll be back, but....even then, I can't make any promises for how long...  If you want to see me, you'll just have to come for a visit!!!  I'll take good care of you.  I promise!!   I just bought tickets to Amsterdam and Italy this August, and am excited about planning that trip.  Look out Europe....I'm coming baaaaack.....

Ciao!


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