After just over two weeks of backpacking through Thailand, I find myself back at work, staring wistfully out the window. Today I'm wishing I was back with my feet in tropical sands, while sweating with the rest of the locals in the land of (genuine) smiles.
It's a strange feeling, taking a vacation while living in a country that's not really your home. Flying out of Bangkok on Sunday morning, I felt as though I was headed back to Toronto -- not Seoul. But reality checked in pretty quickly once I reached Incheon airport, had to fill out a health-check form, and saw all the signs for the quarantine rooms at the terminals. It's such a contrast compared to Thailand, where people are pretty relaxed about all sorts of issues, it seems.
But, I digress. The point is, the past couple of weeks were an amazing reprieve from my everyday. Spiritually, physically and emotionally, I needed this getaway more than I ever imagined possible. A lot of people thought coming to Seoul was a means of getting away from my life in Toronto. It's quite the contrary actually. I look at what I've built in Seoul as an extension to another part of myself. I've seen and done things here that I never would have had the chance to experience, had I still been in Toronto. But it's definitely come with a price-tag. I gave up a lot to be in Seoul, away from family and friends who mean the world to me. I gave up a job in an industry that's absolutely difficult to get back into, once you've been away. But I'm coasting with hope.
Thailand helped me reevaluate a few of the choices I've made, and strengthened some of my goals as well. It's amazing what a change of scenery and tropical weather can do to a person.
I have just under six months left in Seoul, and I hope to make the best of what's left here. It's the start of a new school year, and I officially begin classes again tomorrow. I've had a chance to meet a few of my new students, and even some of the parents who insisted on speaking with me. My co-teacher is different from last semester, and the teachers who sit around me have been shifted too. It looks like it's going to be a busy few months.
In the meanwhile, I hope to entertain you with stories of my recent trip, along with some photos as well. Look for them in the coming days.
Until then, Happy March! I hope this month will bring sunnier skies and brighter smiles to all of you!