New Ground. Same Ol’ Feet.

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I always thought we’d travel; never stay. And even we ever did; we’d trade chaotic city life for an ordinary life in the mountains. What can I say? Things have a way of working or not. It’s been 5 days since we’ve moved to Seoul. We’re not sure how long this move will last. A year or two? Maybe less or more. For what it’s worth, Seoul has it’s fair share of mountains to keep us interested, challenge those rusty legs, set new fitness goals, and burn unwanted fat, perhaps? I’ve heard optimism goes a long way.

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After a month of getting things sorted, spending time with loved ones, and going through a gamut of emotions, we never thought existed; we’re here. Basil has immersed himself into work and I, into making our apartment resemble a ‘home’. It reminds me of birds who fret obsessively on their nest. It also explains the rather long sabbatical from blogging. It’s been so long and believe me, when I say this, I’m struggling to write. Apparently writing isn’t as easy as cycling or playing a sport. Chances are, you might forget how those words work and the rhythm of those sentences.

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What does that mean for our blog? Firstly, I’m not sure if we would get to travel as much. I’m hoping we get to see more of Korea. Although, I’m growing increasingly skeptical, especially after not being able to go on a real trip for 7 months. Maybe, I don’t see ourselves as travellers anymore. And yet, when I look around, I see travel taking centre stage. I see people, very different from us, challenging the odds and making the most of travel. A friend of mine is on a month long trip in the US. And she doesn’t let her cracked ankle bone (after a surviving a bad car crash) deter her spirit or smile as she clicks countless selfies. Another friend, hikes with her two daughters (an infant and a toddler) and photographer husband, along rickety bridges, in near deserted places in Thailand. It’s fantastic! Where does that leave us? Reminiscent and hopeful, I suppose.

Jumping Kids

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I wonder, if those who follow us, and read what I write, would want to know about expat life in Seoul. I think there’s always a new aspect to learn about any country. Every trip springs a new perspective. I’m on my third and longest stay here. And it also makes me wonder (my earlier posts) if I had been too quick to form an opinion. Countries with strong cultures and checkered pasts are difficult to decipher. I come from one. I get that. And when people from two such countries meet, the conversation is surely going to get interesting. I’ll have to keep that in mind when I find my patience wearing thin or my wild temper — ready to take off.

This blog started as a travel blog and has meandered along the way. At the moment, I’m not sure what it is or what course it will take. I’m still figuring out who we are. Are we travellers? Are we settlers? Or are we, just an average couple submitting to life?

40 responses to “New Ground. Same Ol’ Feet.

  1. Whether you’re traveling through geography or through your hear, you’re still two brown feet on a journey. You’re on a different course this time maybe, but I can bet your followers want to share this with you too. I know I do. I have to admit, I’ve been so curious as to why you had to move to Seoul. I keep wondering if I missed that story somewhere. Keep writing…please.

    • Thanks so much for those words, Amanda. 🙂 I was wondering if followers, like yourself, would want to keep reading about the same place or life as I see it. And it’s reassuring to know that maybe I should keep writing. I wasn’t sure how this blog would shape up. Actually, I realised that I might have not mentioned the reason for the move. Basil, my hubby, has got a transfer to a new role in Seoul. Our last trip was a trial run. It’s been on our minds for the past six months. That said, I’m surprised that I am happy to be back and meet old friends. New stories await. I guess travel will happen when and if. Thanks for making my day/evening. 🙂

  2. I have always enjoyed your posts. I love the words you weave. It happens.. We start with something and then situations change. Your apprehension about blog is realistic. travel is most popular blogging topic. but trust me, real bloggers like you can still keep your blog relevant. I generally don’t read the cliche Bloggers cause they have nothin new to offer.and there are many.. .. A thriving community! You’re still traveling, your blog is relevant. show us more about Korean culture, mindsets…. Not just travels. Tell us about your experiences…. Keep blogging, you’re not run of the mill blogger!! Lots of luck to you both as you settle into new country and role!

    • Thank you, Arv! 🙂 You’re always generous with your praise. It’s always good to get feedback. Genuinely, we don’t have any trip planned for the next few months. I’m hoping we could take a weekend break, perhaps. Seoul will always have something to do. But, I’ve realised the more we live here the less we try to document it. 🙂 One of the reasons why I thought I might not have much to say or talk about after my clearing my backlog of planned posts. I’m happy to receive positive feedback on changing the course of our blog. Once again, thanks for your comment.

  3. Like Amanda, I too wondered if I had missed something about your move to Seoul, but now all is clear and good luck in your new home. You have a wonderful way with words, so I have no doubt that your followers will keep reading.

    • I’m not sure if I had mentioned it before. Basil’s job involves a lot of travelling and on longer durations (a month or two), I accompany him. Our stay in Tokyo, Shanghai, and more recently, Seoul have all been extended work trips. On some trips, he would take a few days off and we’d travel – in the true sense of the word. 🙂 We saw this move coming six months back. Part of my predicament that I might have mentioned in passing in my earlier posts. We’ve moved into our third apartment and I hope it’s going to be our home for a while. Fortunately, it’s my third trip so settling in wasn’t too difficult, but it will be a month before things are truly in place. Another reason why travel might not be possible for a while. Thank you so much for your comment, Ann.

  4. Good to hear the two of you are settling down. I will still follow your blog if you were about your time in Seoul…or what you write because your words and Basil’s photos are so meaningful. I think we are travelers all the time. Life is constanly changing and there is always something to see and learn around us. Traveling near, usually it’s less tiring and you can go back again and see more of it 🙂

    • We’re almost settled, Mabel. But, it will take a couple more weeks to get everything sorted. 🙂 Feedback like yours keeps me going. I agree, when you live in a different city, you can revisit a place again and again and view it differently. We love the Han River. And spend most lazy Sunday afternoons there. Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂

  5. How beautifully you write Cheryl:) Hugs to you…Hope Seoul brings you both a lot of happiness!
    Whatever you write, I’m definitely eager to read:)
    Mine began as a travel blog too and I realised I can’t restrict myself to that. So now there’s food & art…maybe something else soon! You’re right when you say writing isn’t easy…my nerves overcome me before I begin a post and slowly calm down as I start!
    Hugs

    • Thanks so much for the love, Divya! I started this blog to list our travel journey. I must confess, I’m very lazy. The thought of a new blog on ‘Life in Seoul’ seemed like a lot of effort. 🙂 I’m happy to receive positive feedback. And thanks for sharing your story. Your blog does have a little bit of everything. It works well! 🙂

  6. I totally understand! I moved less than 5 months ago to a new city, small apartment, and life without my job, which I left because my husband took a new one here, halfway across the country. Mine is a travel blog also, and I just couldn’t get up the enthusiasm to write about “travel” within my new location. Luckily, I do have a trip planned (Mongolia – in 2 weeks!), but after that we’ll see what happens. I also start a new job soon, so that may keep my second foot inside the door for a while! Good luck to you!

    • Mongolia!!!! On my list!!! 🙂 I was so hoping to go there. It’s pretty affordable from here. Maybe, sometime in the near future. Please don’t shy from giving all the details of your trip. I’d love to read about it. It’s great to have a refernce point. So far, it’s so difficult to find a decent blog on Mongolia. Tour agencies are the best way, I suppose?
      Thanks so much for joining the conversation and sharing your story. I know how you feel. Ironically, I was thinking of getting back to the slave (work) force this year. 🙂 I guess, things happen for a greater purpose. Good luck to you as well!

      • I’ll keep you posted! Mongolia is very easy from Seoul; in fact, I stop in Seoul for a few days on either side of the trip to Ulaanbaatar.

  7. Oh Cheryl, your posts have always been so inspiring. I love Basil’s photography and I love the way you write and observe the world. For what it’s worth my blog started as a bit of a journal of our family’s travel adventures and it’s morphed into something quite different, and way of expressing myself and my life. Good luck in Seoul, I know I’d love to keep hearing about your life there, whatever happens, so I hope you keep writing and sharing your part of the world. Take care and enjoy. 🙂

    • Thanks a bunch for all the love and support, Miriam! 🙂 Your comments always brighten my day. And I love your blog! So much positivity through the ups and downs of life. It inspires me and makes realise that things have a way of working out. I’m also going to have to add Australia to our never ending bucket list. It’s beautiful! Until then, I get to see it through your eyes. Hugs! 🙂

      • Thanks Cheryl for your kind words. I really do hope you make it to Australia one day. You’d love it here. And I would love to meet you! In the meantime I’ll keep sharing my world through my blog. Hugs back. xo

      • I’d loved to meet you too! 🙂 I’m leaving it for the future. Just as I never knew I’d be moving to Seoul, it’s possible that we’d make the trip one day.
        The weekend’s already here! And we complete one week in Seoul tomorrow! 🙂

      • One week already. Time will fly by before you know it. I hope you have a lovely weekend Cheryl. Enjoy. xo 🙂

      • I know! I hope your weekend is filled with warm campfires and sounds of insects in the dark and countless shining stars above. xo 🙂

      • Oh, that’s so sweet, I wish … but this weekend will be a quiet one at home. But that’s okay, I can’t be off camping all the time … much as I’d love to! 🙂

  8. Good luck with your recent move! I’m a relatively new follower but I love your insights and Basil’s pictures. So even if the content is not specifically travel related any more I will be sticking around 🙂

  9. Hey Cheryl, so you have finally settled in Korea…yeah I understand what you mean by not being able to write easily especially when being away for sometime. Don’t worry about it, soon it will come back easily 🙂 Perhaps you and Basil can plan short trips within Korea or the East Asia/South East Asia region every 3-4 months? That’s what I do because I have a full time job. These short trips every couple of months are something to look forward to.

    • Hey Kat! With Basil taking over a new role, I’m not sure about his leave. And costs from Korea to other countries (barring Japan and Mongolia) tend to be expensive. We require a visa to visit most Asian countries, including Malaysia. 😦 That said, we’re waiting for the heat wave to subside, probably we could get around more in Korea itself. 🙂 Let’s see how things work.

  10. I can totally relate to this post. This past year has been very weird for me. I have always lived in the same place for most of my life, and then I moved to another country for the first time in 30 years. We couldn’t travel as much as before and I think I neglected that blog a little, especially with settling down and try to make new friends. I still don’t know if we will stay forever here in the uk or move to another country. I think it’s the first move who is the most difficult.. after you kind of know you can do it and it’s less stressful 🙂

    • Thanks, Gin! It’s three weeks since we’re here and I can safely say, I’ve settled in. 🙂 I’m glad, we’d visited Seoul twice before and had brief stints in Shanghai and Japan. But, culturally, and linguistically it’s challenging. I think making new friends is the hardest. Especially, in a new place. You have to start from scratch. We don’t know how long we will stay here. Or what’s next! I’m so happy to hear from you! And excited for you! 🙂

      • Making new friends is hard. The easiest way to get in touch with new people is through work or through hobbies (going to a class, going to the gym, etc). I hope you will manage to meet new people. I also used the website called “meetup”. It allows you to meet new people for organised activities and it’s really good !

      • Haha! I’m doing all of it. Fortunately, Seoul has some fun global centres. I’m searching for the right meet up group. I’ve seen most groups are inactive or meet occasionally. Then, there’s learning Korean. I’m not sure when that would happen. It’s been a year for you already? Thanks so much for your tips! 🙂

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