So here we are at the 3rd mission of the Global Seoul Mate project: the 2014 Global Seoul Mate Time Capsule
This is a hard one: it is quite challenging for me to fit in everything that Seoul has meant to me over the course of 2014 without being overly verbose.
Change in the form of moving homes is always a little bit of a challenge; moving across continents and installing yourself into a reality that is totally different from the one you are accustomed to is even more so. If you want to make it even more interesting also add a cat (or any pet of your choice) to your luggage.
Yet, this has been another year filled with lots of excitement.
Seoul is a very liveable city: public transport works like clockwork, there are beautiful parks, the Hangang river is an amazing space that I have enjoyed throughout, nature is at your doorstep (or a metro stop away), people are kind and welcoming and there is always some cultural event going on.
The versatility of this city is something that was not immediately obvious to me but that I have grown to truly appreciate over time as I came to discover more and more hidden aspects and corners of this fast-paced and interesting metropolis. Seoul can be both modern and traditional and while it furiously looks forward embracing change at a sustained fast pace, it also hides peaceful oasis of calm and tranquillity.
Life in Seoul has also meant personal growth for me: learning and re-inventing myself once again. I have been studying the Korean language since I arrived. I can confidently say that this is the most challenging language I have ever attempted to learn but to finally be able to form a sentence to get what I need instead of frantically pointing at pictures on my phone or generally looking like a crazy monkey doing somersaults in order to be understood is an achievement in itself.
Work hasn’t quite arrived in the form I had originally hoped for however this has also meant being open to other opportunities and experiences, like taking part in the testing for the website of a leading hotel brand, managing the website for another organisation, re-inventing and stretching myself beyond my comfort zone and learning new skills. This has once again reinforced my belief that all our limitations are set by our imagination. The upcoming new year will be a time to test all that I have been learning.
While moving away from familiar shores has meant saying so many painful goodbyes once again, Seoul has also meant discovering new friendships and sharing special experiences with loved ones. We have had our first visitors this year: it’s been great to proudly show our host city to our family and friends.
Shared experiences is what makes memories so more precious than any material belonging and this year there’s been no shortage of new exciting experiences.
So here it is, Seoul 2014. It hasn’t been quite an entire year yet but the experiences have been full and memorable. See you in 2015!