I will be on a plane in 5 weeks to South Korea. I was thinking back to every time I have gone back and visited. Of all the times I have been, I grew the most during my study abroad summer program with Yonsei University in 2006. It was my second time to Seoul and I was ready to learn and travel. The feeling of being able to walk around in a different country, order myself a meal and take public transportation without help was amazing. I learned that I am a very independent person and opportunities like this truly open doors and the mind. Sitting here reflecting back on that time I realize the person who I was then was more confident, happier, and willing to take what the world had to give.
I was even willing to make an ass out of myself by running down the street from 번대기 (fried silkworm pupae) on a toothpick. I didn’t want to eat it so I ran yelling, “I’m not eating that!” down a street in Seoul. Oh, the things we do when we are young. Trying 생낙지 (live octopus) was daunting the first time. I cried watching it move on the plate in front of me. Eventually my ex put it in my mouth to eat and I realized it wasn’t so bad. So from here on out I’m looking to find that old inner confidence of mine on this new journey and try new food, visit new places, make mistakes while learning Korean, and slowly working my way through each day teaching.