2013 has been a great year. It has been a year of new experiences. As I rang in the new year in January, I knew that it was going to be a year of life changing events.
I was able to work in the advertising industry my first 6 months, continuing on my year prior. Though I was just a receptionist, I learned so much about an amazing field, but I had an itch to try other things. I started getting over my quarter life crisis and started to figure out who I was as a person and what I wanted to do with my life. When June hit, I made a tough decision and left a great company. Then John and I said goodbye to all our family and friends. With our bags packed, we ventured in July to teach in Seoul, South Korea.
Now, I won’t go into all the details of how it’s been, since that is what all my blog post archives are for, but I can say this – living abroad has changed me as a person. I have learned so much from being an expat in a country that I have temporarily adopted as my home, and I’ll list everything below.
- I have learned that when I eventually return home to the USA, to treat all people with respect. I always try to treat people with respect no matter what, but now I truly understand how difficult it is for someone to come to a new country and try to adapt. Learning a new culture and language is hard! I have been in South Korea for almost 6 months and I can barely get words out in Korean! I have also learned how important it is for people to travel so they can understand this experience.
- I have learned to be more patient and kind. Teaching really helps open your eyes to see how everyone is different, and with a little patience and kindness, you can really make a difference in someone’s life.
- I have learned to slow down and enjoy moments. I am finally understanding that life really does pass by in the blink of an eye. The time to do something is now! Make time to travel and see the world. Call your friends and family often. Always end conversations with your loved ones with words like “I love you”, even if you are angry.
- I have gained more confidence. One thing credited to this is teaching. When you teach, you are the one in charge and it quickly lets you realize that you need to have everything together in order to be sucessful.. or at least act like you have it all together. Another thing credited to this has been through all the people I have met or worked with this past year. I have met so many inspiring people this year, both at my old job and on my journey here in Korea, that have shaped me into a stronger person. It’s important to take qualities from people who inspire you, to shape and mold who you want to be. This truly helps you find your confidence.
- I have started to learn who I am. This is the biggest accomplishment for me. I felt so lost last year. Though I still have a lot of searching to do, I feel like I am finally starting to see the person that I am meant to be, even if she is just peaking out from around a corner.
With all that 2013 has brought, I hope 2014 is just as great. If you are reading this blog and you are debating whether to take on a new challenge or experience, my advice is to do it! It’s the year for you!
I’ll end this post with a Christmas update and pictures of a recent day trip that John and I took to Heyri Art Village in the city of Paju, just 45 minutes north of Seoul. Christmas in Korea was nice! Though I didn’t feel the spirit as much as in the states, it was a nice day to have off. John and I went to Paju on Christmas day and it was wonderful. Heyri is an amazing little “artsy” area with great architecture and cute little coffee shops! After our day trip, we ended Christmas at my sister’s apartment enjoying a pot luck dinner with friends.
I hope your New Year holiday is great and that 2014 might be the year for you!
You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. -Alan Alda
Heyri Art Village
This coffee store/Bookstore was the coolest bookstore I have ever seen. It had a book shelf to die for!
Happy New Year! Wecome 2014!