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Sunday, January 1, 2012

End of the World, As We Know it

So many times I look at the road ahead of me and wonder if I should rethink the course I am on. Every time doubts creep in, the Universe nudges me in the right direction.

They Mayans believed that December, 2012 would be the eventual end of the world. They might have been right. But I don't imagine some apocalyptic physical demise lays in our path. It is simple the end of the world as we know it.

2011 saw the rise and fall of the Tea Party protesters in the States, the Arabic Spring across the Middle East, the death of a dictator in North Korea, the discovery of over 700 planets orbiting nearby stars, the emergence of the 99%, and a host of other developments. This life -this world, is changing.

Personally, I left a life in South Korea that I absolutely loved.  Granted, teaching a midst the bureaucracy of public schools in Busan was not always easy, but the challenges almost always lead to discoveries about myself or to rewarding experiences.

Today as I sat here watching Dick Clark's NYE celebration that I downloaded, I teared up thinking about the people and places that I have known as home.

Over 2 years ago I went to Korea and Korea is by no means perfect. But now I find myself in an apartment in Saigon, living in a neighborhood where most people don't speak any English other than Hello or Hi, and I am intoxicated with this life. It is hard. But damn, it is so rewarding.

This is one of those moments of clarity when I know that I am making the right decisions.

Happy New Year.

Now I look back at the last few months before I saw the dawning of the end of the world as I knew it.  Here are a few pictures. By the way, a good number of the pictures are from Laos, and Thailand. I really do plan to blog about those adventures, but transitioning into a new life has me a little behind on my blog posts.

2011
I managed to visit Laos. Most of my time was spent relaxing in a hammock or sitting by the Mekong River. But there were a few parties. Here is one from Vang Vieng.


Sunrise after the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, Thailand

Random night out in Laos with Tracy and Martin

This picture is from my first days in Saigon with Rae, before I actually "moved" here.

Fishing on the Mekong River with a bunch of cool guys.

This is Lena. She was also a teacher in South Korea and we traveled together for a month through Cambodia and Thailand. I miss her smile, charm, attitude, and Irish ways.

I climbed up a waterfall in Luang Prabang, Laos. I am sure there is a metaphor about life somewhere in this image, but for once, I will leave that up to you.

I am so lazy. This picture is also from Vang Vieng, Laos, but I couldn't be bothered to group it with the one from above. This is Norjta and Siri. I only met Nortja in Laos, but I first met Siri in Thailand. She was also on the trip of a life time.

Baptized by the waters of a waterfall
Drifting in the sea of life
Washing away all doubts and fears
This is the end of the world as I know it

Ah, sitting with Michelle in Railay, Thailand. I have a lot more to say about Michelle, but she really opened my heart and mind.  Thank you Michelle.

In the mountains of Laos, the kids rarely meet Falangs. Falang is Lao for foreigner.

And so we ride off into the wild
Looking forward
Moving on

 On the streets of Hanoi: when the idea of moving to Vietnam was just a little seed.  Now it has taken root and is growing branches.

On the second to last day of 2011, I get to hang out with a couple of teachers from Busan. What a great way to close the year.

Rejoice!
Sing!
Dance like no one is looking!
This.is.your.life.
Live it
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