6 Weeks Left

It is 3:00 in the morning and I can’t sleep because I am starting my pre-change planning. It always happens – I am never sure exactly when it will hit me but it always does. This time it happened on Monday – I realized that I have just over 6 weeks to plan my Thailand trip, pack up my apartment, decide what I am storing, what’s being shipping home and what I am giving away. Okay, so I don’t have that much stuff and it’s mostly clothes, books and little things but still. I have recently admitted to myself that I may be slightly anal and just a bit of a hyper planner but…

So sleeping has become a bit difficult but I have decided that I am staying in this weekend and am going to make all my lists, finish planning my trip, book the tickets, put everything on paper and generally get my ducks in a row. I finished reading about Thailand and I know where I want to go – and that I can’t possibly do it all in 5 weeks (I’m spending a few days to a week in China too visiting Lisa, one of my university room-mates) so I have to whittle it down to only 5 or 6 places. I could do most of it but then I would be rushing and the key to this vacation is relaxation. Which is why I am leaning towards one of the 10 or 11 day meditation retreats at one of the Buddhist temples. It takes a chuck of my time but how cool would that be and useful too.

Why am I sharing all this? Well, putting things on paper – or the internet – always clears my mind and I figured might as well share my thoughts with you all. I know I have said before but I will be home the middle of November – I’m jumping from sunshine and warmth into a cold, dreary Canadian November but hopefully I’ll be too busy visiting friends and family to notice. I am not entirely sure how long I will be home as I want to be back in Korea by early January at the latest. I’m not returning to Ulsan (unless I get a perfect offer) but rather to Seoul as I want to have more culture, things to do and men that aren’t intimidated by me. Please don’t misunderstand the last, Korean guys aren’t generally intimidated, although they are often a little shy, but because they often don’t have much, if any, contact with foreign girls, they don’t know how to react. If they have traveled this isn’t a problem, in the larger cities like Busan or Seoul, it’s not a problem because they have more contact with foreigners. In Ulsan, there aren’t many foreign girls (apparently there is 300 foreigners total in Ulsan, more than 60% are men) so we are both a novelty and a strange commodity. It’s not unusual for Paula and I to be the only foreign girls in S2 (our fav club). And strangely enough for all my confidence, I don’t like to be the aggressor. Hence, Seoul as my destination for next year.

Plus it would be really strange living here with an entirely new group of friends. Of my core group, only Paula is coming back for sure and she is going to Seoul too (for the same reasons – culture, stuff to do and men). Ahh, the adventure! Thanks for listening, I think I can sleep now.

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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