Saturday, July 28, 2012

Boyfriend Blues

Cahuita, Costa Rica

Being on the road is one of the best feelings I know. It frees me, it moves me, and it deepens my life.

But this time, being on the road also breaks my heart a little.

I left behind my boyfriend to travel my heart out. We're still together, and we keep in touch everyday... but the more days we spend apart, the more we discuss our future together.

When I left Korea recently to begin this crazy adventure, I decided certainly that I would return to Korea to find a job in Seoul upon completing this trip. I still consider Korea to be my home, and even here in central America I often long for the daily life that I lead there.

However, since I left Korea, the other half of my relationship has deepened his own future plans. He wants to move to Tokyo.

He says working life in Korea requires long hours without significant pay, and he feels daily living in Japan will be more comfortable. He wants to work and build the savings to make his future ambitions a reality. I respect him, and I understand why he says Korea can be a difficult place to live.

The allure of Japan is strong to me, as there are many similar cultural elements to Korean culture. But when I really think about it, I'm not ready to leave Korea.

I love a man who I fell in love with in Korea who does not want to live in Korea. What am I to do?

Part of me jumps at the thought of living in Tokyo, the bright neon familiar to me now. The crowded subways excite me, as does the lure of language. Japanese is on my list of languages to learn, and I have a few friends who would help me settle in. Tokyo would be good to me.

However, I've now spent more of my twenties in Korea than anywhere else. I feel so comfortable and confident in Korea now that I can't imagine moving to Tokyo and starting all over again.

It's a confusing time, only made more intangible by the distance between us.

I can only put trust in myself, in him, and in the road that we travel together.

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  1. It's really up to you whether you stay in Korea or move to Japan. I know I said something really obvious. Be bold and make the decision!

  2. There's no map for these roads, only our wisdom. Be careful of your own mind and choose the right path :)

  3. Awaiting more posts!

  4. I think you are experiencing a bunch of uncertainty... it always happens when suddenly the world starts moving and makes us get out of our comfort zone, "what is going to happen? I feel so good living the way I have lived till now, in the place I have am now" I wish I could have had the choice to decide if moving or not before I left my Home, but I was just 4 years old so... I didn't have a choice. "Home is where the heart is..." and despite I have been living in Lima for the last 18 years, I have never felt that this place is my home, and thank God I have always had the chance of going back Home at least once a year... and it doesnt matter how many years I could live far from Home, I love that place so much that I will always find the way to go back and even in my last days, my last will is to rest there in peace... My point is... every change is scaring, frightening, we always are afraid of uncertainty, and taking risks, but dont go to the extreme side, if you go to Japan, you will still be close to Korea, so you can go back whenever you want... but most important, dont be afraid of taking this opportunity, cause the only way to know if you will like Japan as much or less than Korea is experiencing it by yourself.

    Just dont think too much about that and give it a try! :)

  5. I spent the summer teaching in Tokyo in 2010. I think you'd really love Japan. If you feel like he's worth it, make the move! You have more than enough experience to get a teaching job in Tokyo. You can always go back to Korea if you don't like Japan.

  6. Shouldn't the decision for you/he to stay/go be a shared decision to the extent you two are a couple?

    It seems he's made his own individual decision. And now you're struggling with your own individual decision.

    That suggests to me there wasn't much of a "we" to begin with. Just two "I's" making their own self-interested decisions and hoping the other follows in tow.

  7. Trust your instinct. Besides, Tokyo is only 2 hours away so it's not the end of the world if things don't work out.

  8. If your heart wills it Noona then the love will sign its name. I love reading your work. Hope all is well.

  9. obviously, if there's deep commitment, you two should talk about this. and here's something to consider: does he really know how life is in japan? does he have close friends/family/a support network there? japanese corporate/management practices can be just as brutal as korean ones. and then there could be particular difficulties for a korean living in japan. just my two cents. LOL

    cheers & blessings!

  10. 日本だいすき! DO IT!!!

    what an amazing opportunity! Home in Korea will ALWAYS be an option. No one can take your love for the culture or the language away from you. 1) You'd be with a Korean over there! and 2) you're like swimming distance away to visit. 3) Work in Japan added to your Korean work experience would be an excellent addition to your CV :) 4) it's not forever 5) change = big time growth (if nothing changes, nothing changes), 6) think of the new amazing friends and connections you'll make. 7) onigiri 8) dongo 9) Takayama 10) omg. I love Japan!

    Trust me, you're so, so young and there's plenty of time for settling down in a place you feel comfortable with. Imagine that you'll learn about a whole new culture and learn a really cool 4th language if you want! Traveling is like a honeymoon in each place but living somewhere really forces you to be uncomfortable and go through all the hard stuff to get to the good results. You know that ;)

    My strong encouragement -- GO GO GO! (and then come back when you're finished)

  11. P.S.

    The Road Not Taken:

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    - Robert Frost

  12. Relationships are so hard these days because everyone has so much independence that they don't want to take it away from the person they love. I know you'll decide whatever's best for the two of you. **hugs**

  13. japanese are escaping from the nuclear radioactivity.
    he said he was more comfortable that japan lived. but he is stupid.
    there is everywhere the man for you.
    but because of handling japanese fatal radioactive leakage, your life is once.


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