It's taken three months and many reality checks for me to finally say I've settled into my Seoul digs. I'm at peace with the shoebox, I've come to terms with the bills, I've accepted the communication barrier, and, finally, I've found inspiration again.
I spent most of the past 24 hours flipping through National Geographic Traveler's Dec '09 issue, and I simply want to teleport myself into the photographs I saw.
Mind you, I'm trying to plan a getaway for the early months of 2010, so this magazine couldn't have landed in my lap at a more perfect time. I remember having this exact feeling of excitement and euphoria when I realized I'd actually be moving to Seoul. I listed all that I wanted to see and do in this wonderful city of paradoxes, and couldn't wait to get here.
Now that I'm here and feeling slightly more settled, I'm looking at what's around me. I finally realized today, that I'm actually LIVING in EAST ASIA! How amazing is that?? I'm closer to some of the world's most ancient and beautiful places, than I ever was when I lived in Toronto. So, it's time to make the best of this adventure.
I've been playing around with options. I know I have to visit Japan, not necessarily because I want to go there desperately... but because it's so close in proximity, that if I don't visit, I'll feel like the biggest tool in town.
You have no idea how cool it felt to just say that.... "I'm close to Japan!"
So, dear reader, if you have a moment, please take a spin through my thoughts with me.
My first choice is Palawan in the Philippines. This came under high recommendation from a friend who lived in Taiwan for a while. She said there's no other place on earth that compares to it, and, after Googling some images, I think I'm starting to agree. What do you think?
Now, I know some of you will say, "If you've seen one beach, you've seen them all." And perhaps you're right. But I definitely don't feel that way. I spent the greater part of my childhood in the tropics, and any excuse to inhale fresh, salty air, and dig my toes into the sand while listening to waves hitting the shore, sounds alright by me. Just look at that photo! Don't you simply want to dive right in?!
My Second choice is Bali, Indonesia. Why? Well, some of you may know of my affair with Elizabeth Gilbert's book Eat Pray Love. In part three, she talks of Bali and all its mystic beauty and serenity. I want to see it to believe it. That's all there is to it. Again, Google Images never fails to deliver.
Sigh! Just look at that photo. It's captured so well, isn't it? Can you imagine just traipsing around the island for a few days, talking to locals and walking away from it all, feeling alive and inspired?
Living in Seoul is a lot like living in Toronto. Well, except for the major language barrier. But it's quite easy to forget that I'm living on the other side of the world, far from all that used be comfortable and static. If I allow myself, I think I might just as easily leave Seoul after a year, having not done much else from what I'm doing right now.
I think that would be the biggest disappointment for me.
So, in keeping with trying to get away from neon lights and cityscapes, last on today's list, but certainly not least, is The Great Wall of China.
I know the list has changed as of late, but I grew up knowing that The Great Wall of China was one of the Seven Wonders of the world. And from the moment I learned of it, I knew that I wanted to visit it someday. This would be an opportune time, don't you think?
Can you imagine anything more amazing than having a chance to visit this spectacular historical site, that goes on for miles and miles? I know a lot of you reading this may have already done so, but the thought of setting foot on this ancient wonder has me giddy with excitement.
Anyway, I needed to get that out. All of this may or may not happen, but I feel thrilled that I've set these down so that I can finally start planning. Fingers crossed that it all happens, yea?
Thanks, friends! Please stay tuned for updates, and do share your thoughts.
Images courtesy of Google Images