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Seoul Searching

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

As I sit here, alone at a bar in Seoul called “Comfort Zone”, an overwhelming epiphany has passed.  It is the culmination of the uncertainty and doubt that have been clouding my travels during the last few weeks.

Your world is and always will be contained within your self.  This understanding cannot be realized during a mere vacation from the normality of daily life.  A change in surroundings only affects temporary disposition towards the outside.  It takes a disassociation from your comfort zone and extended immersion in the unknown before you can truly visualize the world you exist in.

This separation eventually leads way to a defining point of critical revelation.  The illusion of reality fades.   No longer limited by a false view of the world you can truly become free.  By understanding that perception of the world is in your hands to shape, the world literally becomes yours!

So, if you seek an adjustment in your life, the power is completely inside your self rather than your environment.  Any thoughts that the world is bringing you down can be erased by a change in demeanor.  You can enjoy every minute of your life… if you want to.

With this revelation, all my concern faded.  Although I partially understood it before, the concept has never been so apparent and awe-inspiring.  A smile wiped over my face.  I walked outside to the nearest table, sat down and engaged in hours of conversation with complete strangers. 


Goodbye Gangneung

Friday, July 27th, 2007

The last two weeks in Gangneung have been like a vacation from traveling.  Hanging out with Melissa and her friends at the beaches and suburbs was reminiscent of a summer at home.  It has helped me to shake a bit of funk that has been building up during the last four months on the road.  I was getting a little disillusioned and burdened by time limits and dwindling finances, so it was great to live a stressless life with no real agenda for a change.  A lot of my time there was spent wasting time in internet cafes and playing with the kids at Melissa’s school, but I did get into a couple photo explorations during my last week in town.    [read on]

I Sold My Seoul For Rock & Roll!

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

The Plan: Wake up early, three hour bus trip to Seoul, wander the city, see a Crying Nut show (Famous Korean punk band), party until the buses start running in the morning!    [read on]

The New Jersey of Asia

Friday, July 20th, 2007

On the ferry from Japan, I met an expat from Texas who has been living in South Korea the last three years. When I asked about his travels in Japan, he explained that he only does visa runs to Fukuoka and he’s never explored more than the embassy!  His reasoning is that South Korea is “the dollar store Japan”; basically that the cultures are similar, but everything is cheaper.  Obviously, we’ve had different experiences but I don’t believe he could be any farther from the truth.    [read on]

Back to Blue Skies

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

I awoke to a perfect day; clear blue skies and a nice dry warmth.  Melissa lent me her bicycle and encouraged me to venture east towards the beach while she worked.  She literally lives on the edge of town and within a few minutes of riding I was surrounded by rural expanse, rice fields and swarms of gigantic dragonflies.   [read on]

Busan, South Korea

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

I boarded the Camellia Line ferry at Fukuoka and waved goodbye to Japan. The IYTC card I picked off more than paid for itself by saving me about $20 off the ticket. During the trip I met a Texan who has been living in Korea for the last three years. He juggled, showed me a few card tricks and gave me some advice about what to expect when I arrived. I also did some exploring of the ship looking for photo ops before passing out in the communal cabin. [read on]

Final Thoughts on Japan

Monday, July 16th, 2007

It is hard to say any final thoughts about Japan because I know it will always be with me in my heart.  Over the three months spent there I have developed a special love for the country and look forward to returning someday soon.  It is without a doubt an expensive country to travel in, but the friendships, rewards and lessons learned were more than worth any money spent to obtain them.  I can definitely see myself living there someday, but there are a great many obstacles to overcome first.    [read on]

Culture in Japan

Monday, July 16th, 2007

At the same time Japan thrives in its future fantasy land, there is also an abundance of history, tradition and culture balancing the modernization.   There are the blatant differences from western culture, such as the abundance of shrines, squat toilets, onsen, etc. After a while these differences begin to seem more normal, but leave more time to become bewildered by the society and people themselves.    [read on]

Technology in Japan

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Sometimes walking through the streets of Japan feels like tomorrowland at Disneyworld.  Aside from the ultramodern appearances there is an abundance of convenience technologies (e.g. motion sensor bathroom fixtures, automatic doors, etc.).   [read on]

Transportation in Japan

Monday, July 16th, 2007

The public transportation system in Japan is probably the best in the world.  Everything is efficient, timely, clean enough and comfortable (except during rush hours).  Unfortunately, the whole system is extremely expensive.  It is no problem getting to and from any place to place, but you can expect to spend dearly.   [read on]