There is more to this than a zip code.

As the number of nights to have a steady home base begin to dwindle, I find myself enjoying the time in my humble abode more and more. At first, coming to Korea I was resistant to routine; I didn’t like it- the set hours, having to get up at the same time every day, go to the same place everyday, see the same people everyday, but just as I had predicted- the memories of my life before slowly faded away. I think that process is necessary to be able to fully live in the moment, which I’ve tried to do. Now I embrace (most of the time) my Florence and the Machine wake up call, the gurgling of my coffee pot, the 2 ft x 6 ft area I have to work out. My walls greet me with familiar handwriting, my undol (Korean floor heating system) warms my feet and clothing (helpful tip: in winter put down your clothes and towel, this helps create a false sense of dryer level warmth); I’m even used to the sounds of the chiming ATM, slamming bathroom doors and loud middle-aged men drinking at all hours. Yes, I said it- this is my home!
Of course I would feel that way right before I leave. But feeling settled and accomplished is part of what makes me able to move on, not leaving anything left lingering and unfinished. That’s healthy. Right now I feel as if I could live this happy peninsula and never return knowing I had made the most of my time here (That being said, there is a chance I might return so take that with a grain of salt!). I’ve been fortunate enough to learn, grow, be challenged and share this unique opportunity with so many people this year. From hosting couchsurfers to having friends from the States visit, from drinking antics and all nighters riddled with good conversations, even seeing the sunrise on the porch of the family mart- I am no longer a ‘foreign’ face among this neighborhood that I lovingly call JongAm Dong, I am a resident who lives besides people that I recognize and have a connection with, even if that connection stems from our zip code, I choose to believe it’s more than that.
The last few days I’ve been working hard to narrow down my possessions. I sent a full suitcase home and looking around wouldn’t be able to tell you what was in it! I am trying to get rid of the clothes, books, eat the food and ration out what I replenish. I’ve scoured page after page of my guide book and websites planning the best options for the next four months. But now it’s after 2 am and my bed is beckoning me- so I’ll leave you with a few pictures. Come back tomorrow, there’s a chance there might be more to share. =)

My favorite wall in my apartment
My favorite wall in my apartment
This kitchen saw a whole lot of mondu and ramyeon
This kitchen saw a whole lot of mondu and ramyeon
Peek-A-Boo
Peek-A-Boo
Layers, depth, JongAm
Layers, depth, JongAm
Rooftop view
Rooftop view
Cross Continental Inspirations (picture was taken in Chile, I believe)
Cross Continental Inspirations (picture was taken in Chile, I believe)
The building next to this deserves a blog post of it's own
The building next to this deserves a blog post of it’s own
Just around the corner
Just around the corner
JongAm Love!
JongAm Love!
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