May. 10th, 2010

plumgirl: (Default)
Korea, historically, remains a wonderful place in my mind.

But culturally, I find there be a dissonance between the Korean cultural values that I learned from my immigrant parents and the modern Korea today.
Modern Korean I am not )

Travel is not merely about seeing new places or acquiring new experiences, but to paraphrase something my dad said to me, "It is a break from your everyday that allows you to gain perspective on the everyday."

Travel is not only a removal from your everyday environment, but can be an introspective experience. In particular, when one goes off to a foreign place, where there is a language and cultural barrier -- with so few people to communicate with, one learns to rely on either distraction by sightseeing or distraction by one's own thoughts.

Reflecting on what the sum of those thoughts, I came to the realization that I as a person have a fundamental detachment to a lot of people and things. One can sift through your thoughts and realize what one doesn't miss. One realizes, then, the relative value of various things, hobbies, people to you. And one is left also evaluating the role of all the things left behind and their relative importance.

Oddly enough while away, I never read any of the books I had with me, never picked up a pencil to sketch, never really did anything with all the things I had thought important to bring along except to write intermittently to a small tiny group of people or keep up with them sporadically on Facebook and jot notes down in a small journal I kept on my person. The things I enjoy while at home I think are not essential after all, just means of more significantly passing the time.

It makes you wonder then about how to approach the everyday things now that one is back - things that are now diminished in relative value or importance like work, hobbies, and material things. And on the flip side, it makes you wonder how soon before you can leave again.

October 2010

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