10 years – a brief story

Just before leaving classes for the day, a teacher-trainee earnestly asks me, “This is kind of private question, but do you think you are going to stay in Korea forever?”

This is a common question. I get it at least once a year. For the first time in a long time, I felt comfortable saying, “I don’t know.”

I came here ten years ago, and at that time one year was all I knew. I never could have imagined 10 years and the stories that came along with that timestamp. But here I am. 10 years. And why do I still say, “I don’t know?” Because what do we ever know? I think we all look back with awe: awe at the joy, the sorrow, the celebration, the gratitude, the compassion… the magic.

I often felt unease with my answer, but now I realize it is the most realistic answer I could give. Although Korea and I have deep karmic currents, my heart longs for Canada and familiarity. And although it has this longing, my heart also realizes this wonderful Korean connection.

So what do I do? I just do, and I try to be. It’s all I can do. And for the first time, I’m ok with that.

Let’s see what the next 10 years bring. In the meantime, this is just a touch of what the last 10 years have brought.

Christmas 2004
Christmas 2004 – le chemin du moulin

Picture it. New year’s eve 2004. Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fireworks, my parents, and dear old friends. Korean visa gratefully (FINALLY) in hand.

Flight to Incheon. January 1, 2005.

The magical and mysterious land of Daegu, South Korea.

Bulguksa > Byongchan. 나는 청말조와해요.

at the end of 2005...hehe
proud, but wow… that picture!

Meditation. Contemplation.

Moonkkang/Youngmoon English Institute.

to the core
to the core

MA TESOL at SIT. Heaven.



Marriage. Transition.

Keimyung University.

NVC practice group at FIN English, Daegu.


Teacher training – KIETT.

Reflective Practice Special Interest Group.




Centro Espiral Mana.






Coming home.



2015 :)

11 thoughts on “10 years – a brief story

  1. I know!!!!!!! I mean, me too, I don’t know :-) how can we?
    I have been living in Switzerland for 15 years now and though my big family is well established here, there are still days I wonder whether one day we’ll go back to Estonia. Or put it this way, there are days my Estonian heart aches so much I could crawl up a wall.

    I wish you, my dear Josette, happiness and peace wherever you find yourself!


    1. Thank you so much fir connecting in this way. It helps to know others feel thus in between, yet settled feeling. Its so easy to feel alone in this feeling. I think this visual of crawling up the wall is very appropriate. For me it comes out in other ways. I often wonder if this is why I haven’t put my energy in acquiring Korean more than I have. Definitely material for another post.

      Hugs Sirja!


  2. Reblogged this on Hanguk Babble and commented:
    In the wacky small world we live, I meet someone who knows my aunt from Nova Scotia (happens to share her last name) and is taking Korean Digital Academy class (and living in Korea). Enjoy reading her story :)


  3. Thank you for sharing that Josette. It’s wonderful to see what you’ve achieved in the last 10 years, and who knows what the next 10 will bring? I wish you luck and happiness in the time to come.


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