I woke up this morning to find that my page hits have exceeded 100,000. While obviously quite an extraordinarily small number in comparison to most blogs out there, I find that to be amazing.
It may be a small little community, but I can honestly say that having started this blog has changed my life in the ROK. Some of the greatest people I've met during my time here have come through this blog. And I hope to continue to meet and interact with many more.
It's weird how huge the expat blogging community in South Korea is, in comparison to other countries. But I can't help but think sometimes about how dire living here as a foreigner would be without the internet. Surely most of us would figure things out eventually, but we rely so heavily on exchanging so many different kinds of information in this way. Which is to say, actually, that we rely so much on each other.
With all the in-fighting and bickering and differences of opinions, you have to appreciate the amount of thought so many different people are putting into their experiences here. Daily considering topics such as race, ethnicity, cultural differences, teaching philosophies, history and gender relations.... it's really amazing. And Korea is going to have a really fascinating record of her unique position of a changing country during this time, as observed by outsiders, as a result. There are so many people out there who work so hard on a daily basis putting thoughts and theories and information together, simply for the purpose of increasing foreigners' abilities to relate both to each other and to the foreign culture and jobs they find themselves in.
It's cool as fuck. You guys are cool as fuck. So, even though I'm about the worst ever at responding to comments and emails (out of both laziness and a genuine social awkwardness, combined), thank you for being around.
I guess now is a good a time as any to go ahead and say that, while I have obviously loved my time here in the ROK, and am by no means about to bow out and stop focusing on what's going on around me, at this point I'm quite certain that I'll be leaving next October. To go back home? Hell no. But to take on a somewhat less settled and explored situation in, hopefully, Vietnam. So after the next few months, this blog might start to shift in focus just a bit, as I start trying to get my shit together for what it's going to take to make that transition.
I love Korea. I always will. I even have the notion that I'll take a few years to live in other countries, and come back here when I'm ready to be a bit more settled. That's how much I love Korea. But I've got a feeling it's time to do something different, just for a while.
Anyway, off to celebrate my warm-fuzzies with (what else?) a lovely cup of coffee and pack of smokes. Happy Chuseok, anyway!