2017….a strange year to say the least, perhaps for all of us. For me, it was the year I returned to Canada after spending two years in Korea. Up until that point, I felt like life had progressed in a natural way. I graduated high school, went to University. The standard route nowadays. And I just so happened to know exactly what I wanted to do upon graduating-teach in Korea. Once I left Korea, that’s when the uncertainty kicked in. I felt quite lost, to say the least. Perhaps this is the feeling most people feel upon graduating college, it was just hitting me a bit later.
Cue March 2017, me living back at home, and working at my old retail job. Hence why I used the word “weird” in the title. It was weird living at home again, weird being back at my old job, weird being outside of Korea. But ultimately I needed this time at home. I knew I wanted to go abroad again, and this time at home was crucial to recuperate and take that next step (Singapore 2018, here I come!)
So, as it turns out, this past year hasn’t been all weird after all. It’s been so great spending quality time with family and reconnecting with old friends. I savour the little moments that I know will soon be out of reach, and that I don’t want to take for granted. Playing hockey in the driveway with my brother, Costco trips with Mom, family dinners, etc.
Seeing as it is almost the end of 2017, I’m going to take a moment to reflect on this weird year, and look back on what actually made it great.
1. Road trip to the East Coast & Newfoundland
Icebergs, mountains, and puffins oh my! A truly unforgettable two week road trip with my Dad.
2. Music Festivals Galore
2017 was not without it’s fair share of music festivals & concerts. Osheaga, Bluesfest, Folk Fest! All great festivals packed with talented musicians, and great friends to share it with.
3. Yurting in Killarney
We had a pretty rainy summer here in Ottawa, but we lucked out this weekend. Perfect sunny & warm weather for my first yurting experience in Killarney! Hiking, canoeing, & campfires- nothing better.
4. Being a Korean Cultural Centre Blogger
This year, I found out about a really cool opportunity to blog for the Korean Cultural Centre of Canada, based here in Ottawa. This meant, I got to write about my experiences in Korea, as well as attend various events hosted by the centre, like the K-POP world festival and various Korean movie nights.
5. Working for Korea Tourism
Oh the power of networking and connections! The opportunity above (#4) lead me to work several events with the Korea Tourism Organization, such as the Ottawa Travel Show and Ottawa Welcomes The World. Such a great experience, I felt so proud being able to represent Korea in my home city.
6. Working the Women’s Open
Working at my old retail job had it’s perks- being able to work as a vendor and attend the CP Women’s Open, hosted in my home town of Ottawa.
7. Being in Ottawa for Canada 150
So many cool events hosted in the capital city for Canada 150. I’m glad I was home to be able to take advantage of them.
8. Reconnecting with friends & family
This has got to be the most important & special of all the list. I cannot put into words the incredible value of reconnecting with friends & spending quality time with family. In a nutshell, that’s what 2017 was all about. Home. Home meaning family, friends, stability, comfort, love. Being able to celebrate my first friend’s engagement, meet some new additions to the family, having my first Thanksgiving home in three years, celebrating my Grandma’s birthday…these are only the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to all who made it a great year!
9. …..Moving to Singapore?!
Yes, you read that right! Although it has not happened yet, (4 days away), I am sure it will be a highlight. For those who don’t know, I will be starting a two year teaching contract starting January 2018. Excited, nervous, and anxious only begin to describe how I am feeling. Soon I will be calling this big city/small country home!
The next time you hear from L2K she will (hopefully) have a new blog name, and will be on the other side of the world adjusting to life in Singapore.