An Alien in America

I'm three and a half weeks back in America and adjusting and struggling to find the juice to try and explain how I feel about the transition...fortunately for my current blogging ineptitude, the great Grrrl Traveler has described the experience of reverse culture shock from Asia/SE Asia to America spot.on.

What's it like to be back?  Find out here.


And now?

After 13 months of transformation in Korea, 100 more glorious days of lovely countries, incredible people, huge lessons and changed perspectives abounded.  I'm 11 days into America, 24 hours into Dallas, and 6 months and 24 days from strapping my backpack on again for more.

What do I know now?  I am more in love with the world than ever before.  I feel more peace, more love, and my arms are open wider than I've ever known possible.  Stories to tell.  Lessons to share.  Happiness to spread everywhere.  I'd seen a lot of countries before this.  I'd "enjoyed" travel before this.  But...I saw it differently this time around.  I let it actually change me.  My final month slapped me in the face with a new perspective on...everything.

Two days ago this happened.  Few things have made me happier in my life than m'bro's gorgeous smile on this day:

Last night, this happened.  Many dogs have broken my nose before, but few have been so welcomed in doing so:

And now?  Absorbing what I can of Dallas.  Until May.  Remembering that every second of every day, there are beings out there. Thinking, feeling, doing things, living their lives, and existing.  Being.  Being.   We all know this.  But I never knew this.  I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of this full realization.  I'm reminding myself of it daily.

More to come.


You. Yes, You. Thank you and I love you.

It's time.  I blinked and 13 months in Korea happened.  It was nothing like I anticipated and it was everything it should have been.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  all the credit for this being an actual great experience goes to the people I met here.  This post is for you, people.  Yes, you:

You have changed my life.  You have made me smile.  You have made me laugh.  You have made me grow.  I'm the same, but I am different now.  Better different.  Because of you.  You've inspired me, challenged me, swooned me.  I've completely fallen in love with each of you and the incredible brilliant'ness you posses and have enlightened me with.

I am lucky for knowing you. Thank you for existing and making life better.  Thank you for loving life and making it count.  We've made some good ol' love.  Thank you, thank you.  Thank you.

Here's to meeting again and sharing moments elsewhere in the world.


One adventure onto another adventure onto another adventure

In one week, this happens:  Seoul -> Indonesia -> Vietnam -> Laos -> Cambodia -> Thailand -> Sri Lanka -> Philly -> Dallas...for a limited time before hopefully a coveted internship in Borneo.

If not Borneo, then likely Australia or NZ.  If not Australia or NZ, then somewhere else in the world.

But that's later. Now, in the present, Korea has never been so great.  Happiness rounds out my final week.


Bhudda's Birthday and the Bad-jumma

I don't craft.  I don't art.  I appreciate people who do.  S'all cool and impressive.  I'd like to think I'm creative.  I just don't create.  Glue and paint and scissors are tedious to me.  This has been a very hard thing for my ladies here to accept.

Which is why it was so astounding that I sat down on Bhudda's birthday at Samkwangsa temple in Busan and began crafting a little lantern.  What can I say...I was swept away in the awesomery around me.  We opted to visit the least foreigner-infiltrated temple for the holiday, and it was perfect.  Hundreds of thousands of lanterns surrounded us, we sat in on some of the monks performing their ceremonies, people were all smiles, the weather was perfect, and then we saw....lantern making stations.  I was weirdly all about it.

We bebopped over and diddy'd up some little lanterns made out of crepe paper and cups, all the time surrounded completely by papparazzo's.  The only downside to going where there are no other foreigners is the amount of attention you receive from locals.  Approximately 938578415785608 cameras were in our faces taking twice as many photos of us and our creations.  So naturally when an ajumma motioned for me to hand over my lantern, I assumed it was because she was going to swoon over it/me.  Also, you just don't say no to an ajumma.  I only do if I'm holding a large umbrella or something to protect myself with.

Anyway.  The hand over of my lantern occurred.  The swooning did not.  She jetted.  WITH MY LANTERN.  We were astounded.  After about 20 minutes of "surely she's coming back," reality set in....I got thieved.  The ajumma was a bad-jumma.

In a whole year, my ladies, who are ridiculously crafty people (seriously - they have actually set aside whole days for crafting together), witnessed me willingly delve into a project.  I'm gonna say I must have done a pre-ttay bangin' job with it if it warranted a steal.  But, um.  I'll also probably never craft again.  I've been bad-jumma-maged.  <---read:  bad-ajumma-damaged....drumroll, please and ah-thank you.

proof.  it happened.
Bhudda's birthday photo montage:


Happy Father's Day, Kate Lubbahs You

Happy Father's Day, Old Man Pops!  Yous a good one and I'm glad you're mine.

Feast your eyes upon some weird kids wishing you love and happiness to a tearjerky tune: