Life’s little moments.

The thousands of moments that make up our life. Each moment an opportunity for growth, impact, change, and a new perspective.

Moments that pass by before our eyes.
Moments that we wish we could freeze.
Moments that we feel alive.
The moments you wish you could relive.

You know what I’m talking about. The moments.

Each one new. For us to turn the day around. Make someone smile. Each moment an opportunity whether missed or taken.

The moments that make up our life. Things happen so fast the older I get & I don’t see it slowing down any time soon. In fact, it feels as if it will only go faster. The days become a blur that I often forget about these single moments. The hundreds and thousands of tiny moments that make our day. our week. our year.

The moments of accomplishment after a long hike. The sight of Tom’s flourishing 15th floor balcony garden. The moment when you take a bite into a juicy summer watermelon. The moments in between classes that my students come visit me at my desk during their free time. Those early morning moments with Tom during our bike commute to work. The moment when I’m running and the sight of an ever growing field of wildflowers stops me in my tracks. The moment Tom grabs my hand while we are walking along the ocean front. The moment a photo pops up on my phone of my sisters and Lucas. Camping, blue skies, my morning view, seeing a dear friend’s newborn baby boy dressed in the most dapper of outfits. My husband’s delicious brunch. Starting a hike in the fog and climbing above the clouds. Tuning into a church service from St. Andrew church back in Wisconsin. Taking off your shoes and crashing into the hammock after a long day of trekking. These are my moments…

What are yours?

PicMonkey CollagePicMonkey good

How Korea Has Changed Us.

South Korea. A place we call home. We’ve most certainly fallen in love with this little place surrounded with mountains and outlined in ocean. Although maybe it seems like it this life abroad is not always rainbows and unicorns.We do have jobs (although incredibly low stress!!!) We still work 9-5 and the kids…well they’re kids. They can be absolute little pieces of snot at times and the next day angels. We have 6 weeks of vacation a year. Which, by the way absolutely should be a world rule. Now, we just turn our noses up at the American standard of 2-3 weeks & 6 weeks maternity leave. Well, it’s safe to say we never want that again. We aren’t the “work till we die” kinda people & honestly I think Korea taught us that if we don’t want that? We never have to have it again. We all have choices & each choice may impact the next. For us, Korea has changed our mindset on so many things. It’s really hard to describe to people just how passionate we are about this lifestyle we are living & plan to continue seeking.

161

#1. We LOVE traveling.

There is no better way to experience the world and learn about how it works than traveling. We can’t wait to slow travel. With no agenda other than to soak it all up. The people, the food, the mountains, valleys, and the hustle n’ bustle the cities will bring. We aren’t rich and we don’t ever plan to be, but we sure hope to provide this worldly education to our children someday. Not only did Korea further spark our desire to travel, but we are committed to make it apart of who we are for the rest of our lives.

#2. Community is everything.

Korean culture is community. If I had to use one word to describe Korea for me the first word that comes to mind is community. I felt it in Fiji & I feel it here. Everyone looks out for each other. Taking care of each other is what matters. Tom mentioned that despite communication barriers people are willing to help & therefore anything can get done. We bought a car in Korea, moved into an apartment we picked out, and figured out how to navigate daily errands- all with the help of a community that we’ve found in Korea.

#3. It was the best thing for our marriage.

It’s too much to explain here in just a few sentences. It’s been the best decision for our marriage, happiness, our future. I elaborated on this over on a guest post called: What living abroad did to my marriage.

#4. We learned that less is best.

That simplicity is what we seek. That we wish our storage unit back in Wisconsin would sorta just spontaneously combust so we never have to think about it again.

#5. You don’t have to love the food to make it work.

I don’t like spicy food. I hate raw fish & I especially dislike hot soup in the summer 90 degree heat and 100% humidity. I love breakfasts and brunch which are almost obsolete down here in our corner of Korea. Guess what? I’ve figured out what I do like. I make it work. Tom cooks up a mean brunch & other delicious fresh foods that I do love. Korea’s changed my view of food production & made me want to support local more than ever.

#6. Korean grandma’s are some of the most hardworking people I’ve ever met.

They garden, farm, fish & work extremely hard. It’s incredibly  humbling.

#7. Living abroad CAN be achieved.

Living in another country doesn’t just have to be something you only dream of. We did it. So can you. I wrote about that here. After I married Tom I wasn’t sure we would ever live outside the states. Now, I find myself livin’ & loving and writing this post about how Korea changed our lives & this is just the beginning!

#8. You meet people who are CRAZY interesting.

Living in Korea has led us to some of the most interesting & unique people. With similar passions to see corners of the world that we never dreamt we could see. People who are thinking outside the box to make this lifestyle work. A guy hiking across the entire country of Korea, a gal and her boyfriend who are both sponsored to hike all over the world, crazy cool expats with travel stories to last years. There has never been a time in my life that when I look around I realize that the small group of us is made up from people all over the world. There is nothing cooler than that to me.

#9. We seek new opportunities for growth. 

Both Tom and I are quicker to recognize fun opportunities for growth in our lives. He is the calm to my storm. I’m the girl who is always looking for “what’s next” & Tom is the steady, reasonable, logical 1/2 to our team. I think together we are able to feel when things are becoming stagnant and when we are ready to seek a new adventure. Korea reminds us that the world is SO big & that there is so much to see.

#10. Everything in moderation.

Living in Korea (especially for Tom) changed our view on work. We both don’t want to work ourselves into the ground. Life doesn’t have to be one big bucket of stress and work.  We both view work differently after living here. We don’t want to live to work. Rather, we know that no matter what we decide to do we have SO many options. That we can always make do with very little. That if you don’t like something- change it. If you want something bad enough- find a way to make it work. Work in moderation & don’t work yourself into the ground.

120

316 - Copy

The Significance of Silence.

Yesterday, as I set out for my run I realized just how normal life in Korea has become. Yes, I just used “normal life” and Korea in the same sentence.

The beautiful suspension bridge that leads from Yeosu city to the island we now live on is something we cross every single day to get to work & home again.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I absolutely can’t get enough of grilled Kimchi- Korea’s famous fermented cabbage dish.

The pattern on my chopsticks must “match” at lunch or it drives me nuts- totally a Korean thing!

Speaking of chopsticks…I don’t think twice about eating with them anymore. It’s become our normal.

While I could go on & on with the list so many things that were once crazy and absurd to us we just accept welcome as normal life here there is one thing in particular that I’ve come to appreciate.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I laced up my shoes, ran down 15 flights of stairs of our apartment complex last night & set out for my run. The cobblestone path led the way while I tried to pay attention to the grooves, bumps, and rocks scattered along the path without tripping. I passed by Korean grandma’s maintaining their gardens. Rows of green onions, garlic, and tomatoes covered the tiny plot that they were grooming. I continued down the hill to the ocean. The warm sun dancing on my skin, the breeze blowing my hair,  and the smell of salt stung my nostrils.

No piece of land gone to waste. Our apartment in background. The ocean behind me.

No piece of land gone to waste. Our apartment in background. The ocean behind me.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I watched a man do yoga, women walking while chatting together, and a very old man sitting in silence looking out at the sea.

In a place where I can’t just have small talk with strangers or chat with coworkers at lunch often times isolation is a feeling that is in the forefront of my heart. I have so much that I want to say to the incredible people I encounter each day. Sometimes, even gestures or charades just really aren’t enough to express what I want to say.

Sometimes, you have to stop and just be present. Sometimes silence is the best from of communication (or all I’ve got) & feelings don’t have to be spoken to be felt. Sometimes just sharing a moment with a sweet old man staring out at the vast ocean and the islands littered in the background is more than enough.

because sometimes silence is all you need.

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset