I Always Thought I Could Live Happily Anywhere For A Year

I have lived in a few places in the world. To be specific, Canada, Suriname, The Netherlands, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Cambodia and South Korea.

So how is it that some places just seem easier than others… and some… well… one really… did not work well at all. I am a teacher now and hence, it has been drilled into me to reflect and then reflect some more. In doing that, I realize that there was this one definable moment that just altered things.

I was living in South Korea (Taegu) to be exact, and we were headed to the market to look for a VCR (yes… it was a long time ago). In doing so, we took a wrong turn and did not find electronics but instead found a market of animals, some alive, some not, but none of them pretty. Although I have seen a lot of “gross stuff” in my travels, these images just seemed to imprint on my mind, and I couldn’t erase them. I felt really messed up after and I guess, I never shook it.

I don’t know why, maybe South Korea and I just weren’t meant to be.

Of course, lots of wonderful things existed (tea shops, beautiful temples, kind people, delicious food, gorgeous clothing and nicer markets to explore), but I just could never get past that one moment. Despite that, I did live there for one year, albeit it was a challenge, and it took another country to help me to get over my experience.

Amusingly, it was Vietnam and as I read other travel blogs regularly, it is interesting to note that for many travellers Vietnam is their challenge! It just goes to show that not all countries make a perfect fit, but when you do find one, it is the most amazing wonderful feeling in the world and I guess this is why I love to travel.

3 comments

  1. Shelley @Travel-Stained · February 16, 2016

    Oh, I’m so sad that you have such a bad impression of Korea…but it does seem that you were here an awfully long time ago! It has really changed a lot, even in the last 7 years that I’ve lived in Seoul. I hope one day you’ll think to give the country a second chance. It’s by no means perfect, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by all the changes, and maybe even enjoy a visit here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jennifer Amerkhanov · April 7, 2015

    Oddly, I have the same feeling about South Korea. I’ve lived there and in Russia, Honduras, Mexico, India, Germany, Spain, and Australia. Not quite as exotic as some of the places you’ve lived! But South Korea is the only place that I just don’t care for. I think for me it’s because I was teaching English there and we were told up front by the director that we were only there because we were native speakers and they didn’t really want us interacting with the kids in other contexts. Each foreign teacher was paired with a Korean teacher and the Korean teachers did all the disciplining, helping, extracurricular activities, everything except conduct the English classes. It was just a very unwelcoming environment and that feeling really never left me even when I was just traveling around the country for fun.

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    • lovetotrav · April 7, 2015

      Yes, I found it very challenging. We ended up almost being depressed there. I was teaching Eng. to beginners and my partner was teaching to advanced speakers. In doing so, certain attitudes and beliefs were shared and I suppose, we experienced racism, which was unsettling but nevertheless, an experience. I had never had such an experience in Asia and haven’t since. I try not to generalize but I do know it is not on any of my travel lists to return to with my family. I just love so many other areas of the world that I doubt South Korea and I will meet again. At least I am not alone in that. Too much of the world to still explore and love! Thanks for dropping by. And yes, you have lived in some wonderful places as well. Cheryl

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