Updated: Apr 11, 2022
Check on your "Catching flights not feelings" people... We're not okay.
My first couple weeks in Korea were not exactly what I thought it would be, but I lived every day to the fullest. Imagine moving to a new country right as a global pandemic was getting ready to change... well, everything. That was me at the beginning of 2020. Social distancing and wearing a mask become the norm for me REAL QUICK.
It was kind of weird when I first arrived and got settled, but I didn't realize that until months later. I honestly thought my city was just a more quiet place to be, but it was really the pandemic forcing everyone to stay in the house. The streets were pretty much empty and a lot of restaurants seemed to be abandoned. People went to work, school, the grocery store, and home. That was pretty much it.
If the world wasn’t in shambles I know for a fact I would've had some trips planned. Seoul, Japan, China, Thailand... YOU NAME IT. I just knew I was about to fill my passport by traveling all around Asia. Miss Rona said, "You thought." My passport sat on a shelf collecting dust and remained there for the entire year I was in South Korea and I didn't even leave my city the first couple months.
I may not have been traveling the way I thought I would, but I was getting to know my new city. I was able to explore around my neighborhood, sightsee downtown, find local spots to eat, and aimlessly wander the streets with no destination in mind. I became a regular at a local restaurant around the corner from my house and started to pick up a little bit of Korean.
My plans were postponed, but I found the bright side in my situation. I wasn't in Okinawa as soon as I had wanted, but you could catch me dancing down the sidewalks of Gunsan with a smile on my face. If the world wasn't turned upside down, I never would have spent the time getting to know Gunsan the way I did. I would've missed out on seeing so much of Korea. Visiting Busan, Seoul, Jeonju, Daejeon, and other cities in the country may not have made the cut.
• I was joyriding in my own city and truly made the most of it 🤪