PERSONAL FILE: Life, Outside the Box


(Photo: @Doug88888)

Confession: I’ve never really had a firm grasp of what I wanted to do with my life. Shocking, I know, because I’m pretty sure all (or most) twenty-something college grads who randomly move to Korea know the answer to that question. The name of my blog, random though its inception may have been, has become a “profound” question of sorts–what does it mean to be “roygeneable”? Hell if I know, and that’s the point: I’m looking for something that’s roygeneable, that’s me. Of course, I’ve always had a lot of options and a lot of different things I found mildly interesting. Teaching was probably at the top of that very long list, but it definitely wasn’t and isn’t anything I would call a “passion.” A great many of the people I know really like using that word and its meaning has unfortunately been numbed–sort of like the word “love.” I became an ESL teacher because I needed something fun to do for a few years where I could make good money and pay off loans. The job is terrific, but it’s not even remotely something I’d want as a career.

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Chilgok I’ve a confession to make. It’s a strange one, I’ll admit, but I think it’s important–maybe crucial–to understanding why I made the decision to move to the other side of the world. Here it is: I don’t like to travel. Crazy, I know. You may be thinking: “You mean you don’t like to travel and yet you traveled to a foreign country where you’ve never been before to live and work for a year? How mysterious.” ‘Tis true, I’m a man of mystery. And, by virtue of my newfound status as an expatriate, an International Man of Mystery. Boom.

Anyway, in the spirit of having majored in English AND communication theory in college, let’s unpack that, shall we? How does a guy who’s essentially a homebody end up moving to Korea for an essentially indefinite period of time? It ultimately boils down to my own definition of–and attitude toward my definition of–“travel.” When I think of traveling, I think of packing, flying, and lots of driving. I think of cheap hotels and endless eating on the go. I think of cramming as much activity, sight-seeing, shopping, and touristy shenanigans as possible into a week because you have to be back at work next Monday. That’s the kind of travel I hate. It’s mentally draining, stresses me out, and isn’t fun in even the most generous nuance of the word. If that’s what traveling looks like for you, feel free to go on without me. I’ll just kick it at home with the cat and we’ll have a ball together.

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