Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Back in the USA

Hi all--
I'm finally back in good ol' Franksville, WI. I've been back for about 3 weeks now, after traveling to China and Thailand with Heidi. It was a great trip, full of travel ups and downs. Highlights were the Great Wall (and yes, its name is very fitting) and riding elephants through the jungles of Thailand. I have over 300 pictures, so I'm going to be making a highlight CD and then I'll post the link .
Anyway...since I've been back, I've been able to hang with friends and family which has been really great. With most of my friends, it's like I never left. We just hang out like old times, no awkward silences or pressure to sum up an entire year in one sitting. Thank you for that.
I'm staying with my parents, who are gracious enough to put up with me using their cars and eating their food. I feel a loss of freedom here, because of the lack of public transportation (mainly) and the disconnection from a big city. Despite my lack of car, I've made it up to Milwaukee several times and have been amazed by all the changes that have occurred over the past year. It's great. The city really seems to be on the up and up (whatever that means). New restaurants, condo developments, retail, museums, etc...Having been away for a year and then seeing all the changes at once was really dramatic. I *heart* Milwaukee.
As for what's next, because I won't be living with my parents forever: My plan is to stay here through January and then head back to Seoul for another year-long contract. I've been applying for university jobs, but if that doesn't pan out, I'm fine with going back to a job like I had last year, sans the kindy kids. Now, I did love those kids the most, but teaching them was more overwhelming and out of my league. Maybe it would have been different if I would have had ONLY kindergarten, so I could have really focused on learning how to teach that age group, but in the long run that's not where I want to be. So next year I hope to teach some older kids, whether they be university (fingers crossed) or middle/high school.
Why do I want to go back? many people have asked me. Well, at this point in my life, it's what I feel I need to do. In Seoul, I was able to travel, save money, and have the adventure of meeting new people, experiencing a new language and culture. It's thrilling to me. I wouldn't have that opportunity here. I know I'm not ready to settle down into a mediocre-paying job with only 2 weeks vacation and a committment for an indefinite amount of time.
Maybe someday, but not now. I'm excited for more travel, more new experiences, and more visitors! (no pressure, of course) :)
I know a lot of people don't know where I'm coming from but it's just a feeling I have about where I need to be and what I need to be doing. Going to Seoul last year was one of the best things I've ever done!
Anyway, I hope to see everyone while I'm in town.
A quote to leave you thinking:

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness." -Samuel Clemens