At the urging of a couple of my colleagues I have decided to embark on a new journey. Although Korea has been my home for nearly a decade I am 1) no longer willing to put up with my current housing arrangement, 2) afraid that if I continue working in Korea I will forego a tremendous opportunity to challenge myself and venture to parts of the world not easy to travel to from Korea, and 3) getting older and would like to be financially independent whatever that means. To me being financially independent means I am out of student loan debt. Even after nearly ten years in Korea I only managed to put a dent in my undergraduate loans. Since I have no other debt obligations being out from under the cloud of debt will provide me a respite and allow me to move in a direction toward greater self actualization; just saying that sounds very philosophical. Embarking on this new journey is mostly spurred by financial reasons, however, adventure is also a huge part of this journey.
Before divulging information about my new journey I need to say a few words about my journey to Korea. For starters, I must express my gratitude to my parents who supported me while I studied Tae Kwon Do. From driving me to classes, and paying for those classes, they made sure that I had a good view at the world around me through a Korean lense. That kind of exposure afforded me the opportunity to interact with Korean culture and people early on. Years later having been unemployed in America, temping, and finding it difficult to find work, I found it very relieving that I was able to find gainful employment in Korea so much so that in as little as four years I began teaching at a university; something I would have had to have studied for ten years or more to accomplish in America. Working with colleagues from many countries and learning to thrive while abroad were great life lessons as well. It is now time to move forward.
Although I ended my career in Korea in 2014 only to return three months later this time I have little desire to do so again. Now my desire is to travel to regions outside of Asia. I have not ruled out returning to Korea forever, but let’s just say it will be a while before I plan to do so. To that end, I had been in talks to accept a new job since January 2016 which has come to fruition. I am currently writing from my new temporary home far from Korea and the United States. In preparation for relocating here I returned to Los Angeles in July where my visa documents were processed. I drove for Uber for two weeks over which my travel documents, and employment arrangements were finalized. Many a passenger of mine were surprised to hear of my plans to move here. I was delighted when they told me about friends they knew who had moved here and been successful. One person in particular impressed me so much so that I have made it a point to reach out to her. She was my passenger, a Korean woman, who has traveled extensively abroad. Her optimism about my journey were well received because so many of my friends and family have never been to this region and did not share the same optimism. Although my immediate family is supportive they could offer very little advice. This Korean woman was helpful and supportive and I would like to thank her and welcome her into my travel family. Her contributions are no doubt valuable.
I am pleased that my time in Korea has paid dividends in terms of valuable friendships. It was time well spent. Indeed.
My new journey has begun in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.