When I first left New Zealand I was a 16 year old girl who stepped into the craziness of Tokyo. It was an amazing time, and visiting a place like Japan for my first overseas trip was pretty overwhelming and spectacular. The things that have stuck with me all these years are little differences like the plethora of vending machines on every corner and the cute animated characters which decorate everything.
I revisited Japan a few years later with my fiancé and had the same wonder over Asia. I was addicted. I knew that one day I wanted to live here and that I would do everything in my power to make it happen. There is just something so magical about Asia, the ancient history and the futuristic cities which come together to create fantastic countries. Long story short, Japan didn’t happen so I came to Korea. Which was followed by China, and then Korea again. Not to mention that during these years I have been fortunate enough to holiday in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan once more (it will always have my heart). As you can imagine, by now the amazement has turned into novelty and then finally into just normal life. I no longer see something like a temple in the middle of the road and stand in wonder, gone are the days of whipping out my camera to snap pictures of different snacks and meals. Now I live in Asia, these things are daily occurrences and loose their appeal when you do things like go grocery shopping every week. Now I feel jaded and am a little disappointed in myself.
With my mum visiting this week I have begun to realize just how accustom to travelling I have become. She is so interested in everything and wants to take photos – something I haven’t done for a long time! The subway isn’t a frustratingly crowded way to travel but is fun and different. As we walk around the city of Seoul I often start to feel guilty for complaining about people and not being that interested in everything. I hope she doesn’t think that I am cynical and negative, I do love living here. It is just that travelling isn’t really travelling when you have lived somewhere for a couple of years. Then it is just life.
I suppose that is just the curse of moving overseas. It is so exciting and new at first, but then it becomes standard. We don’t realize that the sense of wonder becomes lost and begin to take for granted the fact that we are living in a completely new country. Sometimes I feel jealous of friends who live in Europe, and have to remind myself that I am living in Korea which some probably look at with their own envy.
I don’t want to feel like this. Travelling changes you in many ways, but this one I don’t like. I want to feel appreciative and excited again. I want to find new things and begin to enjoy myself much more. This is a special time, I don’t want to wake up in the future feeling that I have taken it for granted.