I still remember my last week in Toronto like it was just yesterday. The prior months when I had my interview with EPIK and then bombed it.
Then reapplying and receiving the news that I got accepted into the EPIK program.
The last few months, weeks, and days in Toronto as the days pass by and I was getting closer to leaving my comfort zone and everything I love behind.
When I bid my last farewell to my family, and to my parents prior to departure.
When I hopped on the plane on my own for the first time on a 14 hour direct flight to Korea.
But I was more excited than anything.
It seems like just yesterday when I was telling my family and friends that I want to teach abroad in South Korea.
I didn't know exactly why Korea. I wasn't that into Korean dramas, Kpop, and the culture like some of my friends. I barely knew anything about Korea.
I just knew that I wanted to see the world and grow in the process.
South Korea seemed like a good option - after doing plenty of research and information interviews, it seemed like the best place to teach overseas for a first-time teacher and traveller.
I don't regret my decision of coming here and I definitely don't regret reapplying with EPIK for the next intake.
Coming here, I didn't know exactly what to expect and what I was getting myself into. No matter how much you prepare for your departure, you are bound to experience challenges, hardships, and culture shock.
The experience of working and living abroad was exactly what I wanted for quite some time, and it felt right at the time.
It still feels right to be here, even though it doesn't feel like "home."
Thinking back, it seems that everything worked out the way it was supposed to. That I was supposed to here, at this time.
Everything just fell into place. The transition from the last job to coming here. Everything in between; the things I've been a part of, the people I've met, the things I've learned. All of it was necessary for me to experience prior to coming here.
Because just before I came here, I felt ready. Ready to level up to the next challenge. Ready to create the change in my life.
The last month in Toronto was so bittersweet with all the farewell parties and gatherings. I tried to see all of my different groups of friends before I left. I spent as much time with my family as possible.
All the talks about trips to visit me or not seeing me for a whole year, to how long will I stay and my plans afterwards, to how much I would change and how much everything will be different in a year.
For a while, I was constantly thinking about plans coming back from abroad and I wasn't even in Korea yet. I had all these plans and pretty much everything figured out for when I return. But who really knows when I will return? The plan is a year. (And in honesty, it is still a year for now).
All I know is, I shouldn't think too far into the future. I should be making the most of my experience right here, right now. This may be the only time I have being here and travelling this much.
Right now is the only time that is guaranteed.
Live in the now, because there is so much beauty in the now and the unknown.