Monday, November 26, 2012

Already Missing Colorado

As I write this, I am exactly three weeks away from leaving the U.S. and embarking on my new adventure in South Korea.  I am extremely excited about it and I know it's going to be a life-changing experience for me.  That doesn't mean I don't have moments of sheer panic either.  They come out of nowhere, usually when I'm not even thinking about Korea, and they come on quickly.  Luckily it takes me about 30 seconds to get my head right.  It's like my subconscious all of a sudden remembers that I am about to move to a country that I've never even been to.  And while I believe we all have a instinctual fear of the unknown, I'm lucky enough to have an experience behind me that taught me how exciting the unknown can be. 

I do spend a lot of time thinking about and planning for what's coming, but I can't help but miss the place I've spent the last four years.
Nowhere else can match the blue skies of Colorado
My backyard view in Evergreen
The other side of my house in Evergreen
Living in Colorado was amazing.  I got a chance to live with incredible surroundings, I met some of the coolest people I've ever known, and it is definitely where I'll live when I come back to the states eventually.  I lived in both Vail and Evergreen while I was there.  Vail was a crazy experience that had a lot of good and definitely some bad.  I lived there the first winter I was in Colorado and worked nights managing a sports bar.  This allowed me to ski over 50 days that winter.  I'll be the first to tell you there may not be a better place to ski in the world than the Vail back bowls when they are getting snow. 
I absolutely loved being in Evergreen for the almost 3 years I lived there.  It allowed me to still be living in the mountains while also being only 45 minutes from Denver.  Living in Vail I realized how much I missed being close to a big city.  Gracie and I may have spent more time outside in the 4 years we were in Colorado than I did in the 28 years I was in Texas.   The air is different and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed having a high of 88 degrees during the summers. 
Evergreen Lake
You won't find this guy on the golf course in Texas
Likely the best venue anywhere, Red Rocks Amphitheater

When I left Texas, my next stop was completely unknown.  That road trip, to date, was the most challenging and rewarding thing I've ever done.  When I decided to stay in Colorado, where I would live and what I would do was completely unknown.  I ended up finding a home there.  I'll use those experiences and the many memories I made there to help remind me that I need to keep challenging myself.  I know I need to keep learning about myself and experiencing how small the world really is.  I can't wait to find out how South Korea is going to challenge me, what multitude of things I will learn about myself, and to get to know the person I'm going to be when I'm looking back and reflecting on my new adventure. 
These three weeks are going to fly by.
Goodbye for now, Colorado

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Beginning

So it looks like I am on the move again.  It's been almost 5 years since I first left Texas for what at the time was supposed to be a 3-4 month road trip.  Little did I know I would end up moving to Colorado and living there for four years.  Four Years?!?!  Wow.  When I made the decision to leave Texas at the beginning of 2008, there was a feeling I had that was telling me change was needed.  It was scary as hell, and something that took hindsight to fully understand.  While I didn't know what that feeling really meant or where it would lead me, doing something about it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made.  Well, that feeling came back.  The difference is that this time I actually have a plan instead of just loading up my car and headed west. 

The Plan

Earlier this year the company I worked for in Colorado had a pretty big layoff.  I was one of the lucky ones.  I say lucky because sometimes it takes something out of your control to kick your ass into gear.  That feeling I mentioned before, well it was already there before that fateful Friday morning.  I had started to feel comfortable living in Evergreen, and those that know me best know that I sometimes equate feeling comfortable with not making any progress.  For quite some time I have been considering becoming a teacher.  For quite some time I have also wanted to start traveling again.  So with the idea to combine these two, I decided to get certified to teach ESL.  Being an ESL teacher opens the door for me to be able to live anywhere in the world I would like and be able to earn a living a the same time.  Perfect.  At the time I thought that was the hard decision.

Where to go?

I was certain when I started the certification process that I was about to be moving to Central or South America.  I have wanted to explore both for a long time and I am more than interested in the history and cultures that can be found in either place.  I have tried my best to follow my instincts during this process and there was just something that was leading me in another direction.  As I researched different options, there was one place that kept coming to the forefront and it was a place I knew absolutely nothing about at the time.  I'm happy to say that I now feel 100% confident in my decision to move to South Korea.

Say What?

Yup, I am moving to South Korea in just over a month from right now.  I was lucky enough to find a well respected recruiter who helped me find a great job and I have signed the contract!  I can't begin to explain how excited I am about this huge change that I am about to go through.  No, I have never stepped foot anywhere in Asia.  So why not just move there, right?  Nope, I don't speak a lick of Korean.  No, I do not know anyone over there and nobody is going with me.  Yes, this feels like it is absolutely the right decision.  I am extremely thankful to also have all of my family and friends supporting this decision.  I have not had a single person tell me they didn't think I should do this, and in fact it usually goes something like, "I wish I could do something like that".  This makes me happy.

So I'm back in the blog game.  This is more a way for me to put my thoughts down about this process and the things I will see and do.  I'm thankful that I did this before, although if I'm honest my previous attempt was weak at best.  ( if you feel so inclined) So feel free to follow along on my new adventure.  I promise to do my best not to bore you. 

"And I can see, feel, taste and smell again
And I'm the only one with the hammer to break this shell I'm in
It's gonna take me crackin' this mirror to finally be myself again
Met my potential a long time ago and I'm not stopping til I resemble him"
'Life is Cinema' by Macklemore