Shifting landscapes

Something happened a month or two back that was so subtle I wasn’t even aware of it until now. Korea changed from being a strange, foreign place into something familiar. It took one year and nine months, but it finally happened. Korea is now normal. It’s less an experience and more my regular, daily existence. This is significant.

I came to this revelation when I realized that I don’t take many pictures anymore. Those that I do I don’t post online. I don’t blog much about Korea. I also don’t write in my journal very much. September, October, and November only have one entry each. A year ago I was writing about 30 pages a month. It’s not that nothing’s happening or that the place is no longer interesting. It’s that I don’t feel the need to document events. Things become cyclical and the senses numb to them, so there’s less inspiration to preserve them. It’s also, I think, that this aquarium that is Korea has become secondary to my personal life — things more directly relevant like relationships, work, and future plans. Most of the interesting stuff now is unblogable and incapable of capturing in pixels. The interesting stuff these days happens in conversations and interactions with people I know or people I meet.

This revelation was also partly triggered by a Christmas email I received from my cousin, who recently moved to Thailand. The email described his whirlwind of adventures and observations over his first few days in his new world. I read it and it reminded me of me 18 months ago.

I’m not sure what to do with this. But as the new year approaches it’s got me thinking. It probably means it’s time to leave. But the idea of going back to America freaks the crap out of me. A friend and I were talking about the idea of trying to become traveling professors. Spend a year in Osaka, a year in Bangkok, a year in Istanbul. I think that would be incredible, but it would be difficult to pull off and isn’t very sustainable.

Maybe I just need a vacation. I got my tickets for Singapore last week. I’ll be gone almost a month starting in late January. We’re getting the band back together (minus one member) to play some music, lounge around the pool, and do some traveling around Asia. Then it’s back to the real world.

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2 Responses to “Shifting landscapes”

  1. That’s both sad and exciting.

  2. I love your site..its a very classic ..soft feel to it….it must be something living there..Zman sends

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