Category Archives: Traveling

The Unattainable

I have been spending copious amount of hours trying to make a decision. My reflections sent me back to my journal and blog. I apologize this post will be extensive, but if you’d like to get a peek inside my brain then keep on reading! ๐Ÿ˜‰ This post consists of two entries I made in my journal. One back in August and the other in April.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I have been reading “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer. Just last night, I read a passage that he quoted from Walt Unsworth,

“But there are men for whom the unattainable has a special ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  attraction. Usually they are not experts: their ambitions and ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  fantasies are strong enough to brush aside the doubts which ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  most cautious men might have. Determination and faith are ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  their strongest weapons…”

I don’t know why it took me quite some time to discern that this is who I am. As I reflect back on my experiences and interactions, I realize that the unattainable fascinates me. I tend to be content with being unvigilant when attempting to attain something that seems so wonderful because there are few who have had or lived it.

I discovered while trying to reach these unattainable goals, discouragement sporadically emerges for a brief moment. When this occurs I begin to question myself: Why am I trying to attain this aspiration? Is it really worth it? How much do I REALLY want it? Once I have it, will I still want it or will I move on? I may never know. Additionally, how long do I attempt to reach it? How much do I put myself through to reach the final goal…the goal I desire simply because, to most, it is unattainable?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I recently reviewed to the passage I wrote back in August about desiring the unattainable and I began to reflect…

Everyone has their own aspirations in life. One of mine is to travel the world, but my aspirations do not cease there. I want to make a difference. I am not sure how I specifically want to make a difference, but I know I can do so by using my passion for teaching and learning.

Every day most of us are given a choice and each decision should be made based on how it will better our chances to accomplish our aspirations. I have come to that point in my life where I need to choose. I have reached the precipice of the mountain and now I need to decide if I should find a new path or take a leap off this precipice to the next highest mountain. Each decision has its risks and benefits, but determining which decision will assist me in making a difference or reaching my goals in this one life I have…is difficult.

I cannot live in fear. If I live a pusillanimous life then I will be unsuccessful. These last few weeks I had been living pusillanimously because of these decisions. I have had the fear that whichever decision I make then I could potentially discover that my choice was an egregious mistake. That terrified me.

After doing some deep reflection and cathartically disclosing my thoughts and concerns, I remembered that I cannot live in fear. If I want the unattainable then I will not attain it until that fear is eliminated. With determination and faith, I will reach my goals. I will be strong and courageous. I have also realized that whatever choice I make, I will not make an egregious mistake. I should just be thankful God has given me the possibility to have options in my life.

I shall not vacillate. Either I take that leap off the precipice or find a new path. Either way, each decision will present new obstacles I have to overcome. These obstacles will change who I am and my perspective on life, but it will not blind me from my aspirations. I will reach my goals. I will make a difference. I will attain the unattainable.

Eating Sannakji (Live Octopus) ๋‚™์ง€

My friend, Annie, and I spent a weekend in Busan. While there, we decided to try some ๋‚™์ง€ (nakji)! ๋‚™์ง€ is a small live octopus. When it is ordered the chiefs take a small octopus out of the fish tank, chop off its legs, sprinkle some oil on top, and then serve it to the customers immediately. When you ask for raw octopus…you can’t get any more raw than this!

It was such a great experience. I could feel the legs sucking to my tongue, teeth, and cheeks! It was also pretty tasty! ๐Ÿ™‚

Beomeosa Temple

The following video is of Beomeosa Temple in Busan, South Korea!ย This temple is one of the three largest temples in the Young Nam province in Busan. It was built in 678 with an intention to realize the purpose of HwaEom, a Korean monastery that pursues a life full of happiness and generosity.

My cogitation about my experience in Busan will be coming soon, so in the mean time I hope you enjoy this video! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Weekend in Seoul

I am deeply sorry, as my last post was nearly a month ago! This last month was my first month teaching, but now that my life has finally settled down (because I have my time management figured out), I will be making regular, weekly posts! I have quite a few topics to reflect on, so I will post each reflection once a week until I have brought everyone up-to-date!

The following post is an insert of my journal which I recorded on September 7th while spending my first weekend in Seoul:

As I sit in a cafe, sipping on Korean tea and eating traditional dessert, I reflect on my weekend. David (my college friend) and I decided to head up to Seoul for his last weekend in South Korea (David had been traveling Asia all summer and one of is stops was South Korea to visit me). We arrived to Seoul late Friday night after taking the bullet train. The bullet train got up to 300 kilometers per hour! That night we stayed at Bong House…my first hostel! It was great! I will be staying at more hostels throughout my travels. As for Saturday, Dave and I went to Gangnam to walk around, shop, and dance…Gangnam style. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This was Dave’s last day in Asia and I am very happy he ended his trip by staying with me…for three weeks! It was great to have someone to explore with!

The next day, I had the whole day all to myself because David left for the United States early that morning. This was the first time in three weeks that I was alone! I decided to spend the day at Insadong (์ธ์‚ฌ๋™). This area of Seoul is filled with people and shops selling traditional Korean souvenirs. While there, I finally purchased my first pair of chopsticks and gifts for family members.

Now…I am relaxing as I write this entry. The theme in this Insadong cafe is amazing. At each table is a notebook/journal that people may write in. Every entry is torn from the journals and placed under glass table toppers at each booth, or hung on the wall. There are hundreds of entries! Everyone is able to leave their mark at this cafe.

I admire all of these entries. I began to think about how I need to leave a mark everywhere I go and with everyone I meet. Individuals never know how much of a lasting effect they can leave. It is my goal to always leave a positive, lasting impression with everyone I meet and everywhere I go! I am excited to leave my mark these next two years in South Korea. Hopefully one day I will be the effects that it made on other individuals. ๐Ÿ™‚

The following photos are from my time in Seoul. There is no particular order to these photos. I would like some of them to be closer to one another because some photos have explanations in the captions. I guess you will just have to look at them all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

์•ˆ๋…•ํ•˜์ฒด์š”! (Hello!)

I arrived in South Korea Tuesday night and since then my days have been pretty eventful. To begin, when I checked in to the Asiana Airlines from the Chicago international airport, I was required to weigh my carry on. This has never been a necessity for me. Of course the maximum weight for a carry on was 10 kilograms…my bag was 14 kilograms! I was told that I needed to lose eight pounds if I wanted to carry it on. If not, the carry on fee would be $400! Thankfully, my other option was to check in my bag…FOR FREE! ๐Ÿ™‚

After a long layover at Chicago, it was finally time to board Asiana Airlines! I have never been on a plane so big before! This flight was also classy!

Camera 360Freeย slippers, pillows, and blankets!

Talk about a comfortable flight! Additionally, two meals were provided. The first meal was a beef and rice stir (I do not remember the name of it ๐Ÿ™ …). With this meal came a cup of small dried fish. Surprisingly, it was delicious! Camera 360Camera 360

My second meal was a rice (๋ฐฅ) mixed with octopus! This only increased my anticipated excitement for the food I will be consuming this year!

Camera 360

Although the Asiana flight was a long 14 hours, it did seem to go by faster than I anticipated. Before I knew it, I was going through immigration, finding my luggage, and trying to find the bus station! Then I was off for Daejeon! ๐Ÿ™‚

Snapchat-20140804065151The minions also enjoyed their first flight. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once I arrived in ๋Œ€์ฑˆ I was able to meet co-workers and finally see my new apartment! Below is a video tour of my new living space!

To my surprise, my apartment was bigger than I had anticipated AND…I have a western toilet! YOOOOHOOOO! I can’t wait to settle in and call this new place my home!

Camera 360


South Korea, Here I Come!

(I wrote the following post in Chicago, but I was disconnected from the internet and have not had internet until now. Read on and enjoy!) Hello from Chicago! In about an hour I will be boarding my 14 hour flight to Seoul, South Korea! For me, this week was consumed with final preparation and packing. I started the week by heading to Omaha to receive all of my immunizations and a new computer (woot woot) before departing. After going through the daunting process of shots, pills, and trying to find a decent computer, I finally had the chance get some quality family time. Family time is an essential preparation for to a trip without an arranged return date! Throughout my last week I had the opportunity to spend time with my parents! When they were not working we spent some time by the pool, made some amazing cauliflower crust pizza, and topped every supper off with some frozen yogurt! I decided I will definitely be overeating all of this American food because I do not know when I will be able to have it next! Later on in the week I got to spend a day with my younger sister, Emily. Although our day was filled with driving all through Nebraska to take care of a few things, we did manage to go out to eat, get some pedicures, and do some shopping! I was thankful I had this “Em and Ta Day” because I was not sure if I would be able to see her the morning of my flight.

After having an Em and Ta day, I was then able to spend some time with my older sister, Nicole. We were able to spend the day at our parents house, looked at her new wedding photos, and hung out in the pool! ๐Ÿ™‚ Towards the end of the night I began the “last” of my packing. I soon discovered that this would spiral into a stressful event that would roll over to the next day! After packing and weighing each luggage 12 different times, we were finally done! This was also after we came to the realization that I had to use a third suitcase to fit all of my stuff! As of then, it seemed as if I was ready to leave for the Kansas City airport! The rest of my time with my family consisted of taking multiple “last family” photos before my departure. Additionally, we all went out to a soft serve frozen yogurt shop because Dad has never been to one before! It was a great time for family bonding.

Camera 360

Later that night, when mostly everyone went to sleep in their hotel rooms, my sisters and I spent our last night painting nails, watching a movie, and doing a practice run on how my luggage pick up will occur once I arrive in Seoul! We practiced this luggage pick up about three time! haha The following video is a recording of the FINAL practice run! After that run through, we decided I would be ready for the real thing! ๐Ÿ™‚ After all of the family time, packing, and practice runs of the big day I was ready to go! I am so thankful for the support system I have. If I did not have this support system, I would not have the courage to make this move on my own. After hugging my immediate family members goodbye at the airport, I began to board the plan. Although a few tears were streamingย down my face, I continued to confidently walk down that terminal and onto the airplane. This is the start of my new adventure. (Last family photos before I left!ย โ†“)

ํšจ๊ฐ€๊ฐ€์š” (I’m going on a vacation).

It’s official! My flight to South Korea has finally been booked! On August 4 I will be saying goodbye to loved ones and moving out of the United States. I have been out of the country before, but I was traveling with a group of people. This will be my first time flying out of the country on my own! Additionally, last night I was informed that no one will be meeting me at the airport, so I will have to find my way to Daejeon City on my own. I was given instructions on what I need to do once I arrive to the airport in Seoul, but it shall be interesting because I do not know much Korean!

Although there are minor things that are beginning to stress me out, I am extremely excited! Last week I began learning the Korean alphabet, Hangul! So far I know all the ten vowels and a few consonants. Not only have I learned half of the alphabet, but I also know a few words: ์•ผ (Hey!), ์šฐ์œ  (Milk), ์•„์•ผ (Ouch!), ์šฐ์œ ์š” (It is milk.), and ํšจ๊ฐ€๊ฐ€์š” (I’m going on a vacation.). These are essential words and phrases I need to know, right?! Hopefully I learn to say the word “bathroom” before I leave because I know that will be a word I need! After I learn that world I think I will be set!

I am sure it will take me some time to learn the language, but I am excited to immerse myself in this new country and learn everything as I go along. Hopefully by my post next week I will be settled into my new apartment, learning a few more words, and loving my new home!