Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dilemmas and Delights

You may have noticed from my lack of blogging and negative tweets that I've been feeling a bit low as of late. I'm ready to leave Korea and start traveling but we've made a commitment to stay in Korea for most of November and we have to stick to it. Being the spoiled spontaneous, adventurous person I am, it's been difficult for me not to just pack up and leave. When I know I can change something to make me happy, I usually just do it. Since this time I can't, I've kinda been throwing a fit about it.

After a few weeks of sadness and anger, I decided I needed to stop. Not only that, I really wanted to be happy but I just wasn't letting myself. I thought and thought about why I was feeling so down and why I wasn't letting myself be happy. I started journaling in a little notebook with a happy, little blue bird on it and it really helped me to work out why I was so angry. It also gave me a great place to vent and just get it out which made me feel so much better.

from Unraveled Design

Another thing I've been journaling about is gratitude. Recognizing all the good things around me has really helped to lift my spirits. I write happy things down in my little notebook, read them aloud and then I smile. Sometimes I have to force that smile but it's coming easier every day.

I think a lot of people think living abroad is like a constant vacation but in reality, it's hard. There is still work every day, office politics, errands to run, housekeeping to do, etc.

Plus, something that would be simple at home, can be a huge undertaking due to language barriers and cultural differences. I love living abroad and I love the challenges but after a while, I just need a break. This is the longest (by far) that I've been away from home and it's difficult. I'll be heading home in April and I know I can make it until then to eat a decent taco with my family, but I'm not going to lie and say it's easy. It's hard being away from home for this long.

On this blog, I promised to be honest, and I want to share the highs and lows of being an expat, traveling, going home, and leaving again. So I've decided to start this little series called "Dilemmas and Delights". The bad stuff is first so we can always end in a happy place and remember all those trials and difficulties are worth it in the end. My plan is to post every Sunday my ups and downs from the previous week.

I'm really excited about this series for two reasons. One, it will make me continue this practice of being grateful for what I have. I'll have a specified time each week to sit and reflect. I'm working on staying in the present and knowing I have a designated time to sit and think about what's past and what's to come will keep me on track without throwing those worries into my every day life. Two, it will show people who read my blog (all five of you! ;) more of what it's really like to live and work abroad, plan for a long trip, backpack for 4.5 months, go home, and then be an expat again. 

So, enough jibber-jabber! Here are my current dilemmas and delights:

  • I'm sick. Winter is right around the corner and last winter I had a cold for like three straight months. No joke. So this time around, I'm being serious about sickness. I'm using the neti pot every day, eating healthy, drinking ginger tea with a splash of apple cider vinegar for my sore throat, and absolutely not giving in to the temptation of the four bottles of wine currently in the kitchen.
  • I thought we would be able to leave Korea in six weeks, but it turns out we have seven weeks left. Boo hiss.
  • Our camera is broken. :( We've ordered a replacement but this in between time seems much more photogenic to me than when our camera was working. I'm sure it's because it's Fall and Fall is the best season in Korea.
  • The days are getting shorter and that means that my commute home from work is in the dark every day. Not cool.
  • The weather has been absolutely amazing!! I love Fall in Korea. All the trees are changing into bright colors and the days are sunny, warm, and just perfection. Having so much bad weather, really makes you appreciate the good days.
  • Due to public holidays, we only worked three days last week I wish every week was like that! :)
  • I made a flower crown last weekend when we had a little picnic by the river and it's been continually making be happy all week. I'm dreaming of making more and thinking of flowers and greenery that would be good to use. There are cosmos blooming everywhere right now and I think those would make a great crown. I need to find a big patch of them and get to work this week.
  • I got to make party hats with my kindergarten class and they were soo cute all wearing them! I love when I get to do fun stuff with them and so I'm really glad I now have them for arts and crafts class.
  • We went to Gwangju (a larger city nearby) and found an Indian food restaurant! It's such a treat to eat any food that's not Korean or something we make at home. Indian food is one of my favorites and I was so happy to eat some delicious curry, basmati rice, and garlic naan. Yum!


  1. Your flower crown is so beautiful! Sorry you're having a rough time, but this too shall pass!!! Hang in there dear!

  2. Korea is a roller coaster, thats for sure! Love you, M!

    1. That's for sure! It never stops. Love you too!!