One of the things no one tells you about moving abroad is that it’s hard. Everyone’s experience is different, but personally I think it’s the type of hard that makes you forget why you picked up and moved in the first place… There’s few people I know who haven’t felt this at least once in the process, but the thing is that this feeling isn’t one most people voice out loud. It’s not exactly an easy thing to come to terms with the fact that you’ve packed up your life to move across the world and you’re still not necessarily happy. I’m learning it’s what you do with these feelings and how you interpret them that really matters.
I recently read The Four Stages of Moving Abroad by Twenty-Something Travel, and somehow felt this big sweep of relief wash over me. I’ve finally reached the “understanding stage,” and I know now that my feelings are less about unhappiness and more about a state of mind. At the end of the day, not everything is going to be shiny, exciting, and new. Wherever you go, there you are, and that means learning to be happy with the small things, no matter what culture you’re surrounded by. So I’ve decided, in lieu of dwelling on how hard living abroad can be, I’ll embrace this year of change, beginnings, new friendships, growth and tolerance mixed with beautiful homesickness. I will write my very own weekly gratitude list for Korea. Even though the honeymoon stage has come and gone, I know there are still beautiful things about this country I temporarily choose to call home. Hopefully, they give you some insight on life in Korea or maybe they’re bits of happiness you can relate to in your own everyday adventures.
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
– Denis Waitley
Little Things I love about Korea… Shopping! Underground stores at subway stops, sales left and right, everything pink at Etude House; eeek! ✿ Korean BBQ – so delicious, low calorie and affordable. Mix in a little bit of Soju, and it’s the perfect Friday night dinner ✿ Heated floors – Koreas heating system is warm running water under the floor boards, and it makes for a cozy winter ✿ Coffee shops around every corner – yummmm! ✿ Selfie Sticks, just like Eat Your Kimchi says, are everywhere, super cheap, and they are amazing ✿ The leaves falling like golden and auburn flakes from the sky ✿ Buttery to the touch pajama pants sold by Ajjumas on the streets of Daegu ✿ Weekend trips to Seoul ✿ Skype dates, because how could you survive long distance without them 😉 ✿