I have tried to write this post over a handful of times now, but each time I start writing about “what’s next” for my life, plans inevitably change. Remember when the plan started to form last summer where Renee and I would go backpacking in India and Indonesia, head home for a few months and then get a job and move to China? Yeah, that entire plan was thrown out the window for reasons that will be revealed at a later date. Over the past few months Renee and I discussed so many different scenarios and options as to where to go and what to do, and as time got closer and closer to actually make a decision, our minds changed daily. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t exactly stressed about making a decision as to where to vacation or where to live and teach for the next year — the world (well, pretty much Asia at this point) is literally at our fingertips; however, our contract is up at the end of February, and with only a few weeks left we needed to start booking flights and reserving accommodations. So, with airfare now purchased, this is (finally!) our plan:
1. Vacation on Jeju Island for a few days. Jeju is South Korea’s largest island, located on the Southwestern part of the country (Geoje Island, where we live, is in the Southeast). This is one of the main tourist destinations and honeymoon spots for Koreans, and it is also one of the New7Wonders of Nature. Here, Renee and I will say goodbye to Korea in a proper way, getting to appreciate and explore new territory as well as eat some of our favorite meals. Then, we will:
2. fly from Jeju and have an eighteen hour layover in Hong Kong. Yes!!! So excited for this little gem — it’s like a mini vacation bonus! We arrive early in the afternoon and leave the next morning, so we have all afternoon and evening to stuff our face full of dim sum and Peking duck, visit with some of Renee’s family and meet up with some awesome friends who live outside of the city. After a jam-packed day and night, we will then:
3. leave Hong Kong and fly to Bali, Indonesia!!!!!!!!!!! Bali has been my dream oasis for close to ten years now, and although I’ve had different opportunities to travel there throughout the past few years, I wanted to dedicate more than six days or so to the experience. Patience pays off, my friends, because now we’re going there for a minimum of two weeks (or three or four — the visa lasts for 30 days, so we’ll see!) and we get to do all the relaxing and exploring we want.
Needless to say, I’m beyond excited for these upcoming plans. I can’t wait to travel, I can’t wait to explore, and I definitely can’t wait to write about it! For now, though, I have just one month left in the country I’ve called home since 2010, and I’m trying to soak it in as much as possible. My babies are graduating kindergarten, I’m spending time with friends here, I have my apartment to pack up and ship home, and I have to pack everything I can in one large backpacking backpack to live out of for a year (yeah, that’s right, I don’t have a suitcase anymore since I thought I’d be home before leaving for my next job).
So, that just leaves where Renee and I will be spending the next year living and working. Although no plane ticket is booked as of yet, our plan is to fly from Bali to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and start job and apartment hunting there. Vietnam will be completely different than life here in Korea on many different levels, but we’re excited for a new change! It’s time to leave Korea while we still appreciate it, and it’s time for some new territory.
What new adventures or changes are you embarking on in the new year?