After 7 weeks in the States we are on a new adventure as we head back to Korea for another semester. I spent my time at home eating great food, drinking good wine, laughing with friends, hanging out with grandchildren and children. All wonderful and yet I’m ready to be “home” in Korea. We rented our island home, sold our car and I realized that for the first time in my memory, I am keyless. My apartment in Korea works with a code, as does my office at the University. No keys. What a feeling! I love the simplicity of our life in Korea and now I have the opportunity to be free of the responsibility of our home and car. I probably haven’t been this light since my 20’s when I was clueless about how luxurious it was to rent an apartment and drive an old used car that was paid for.
When I talk to my contemporaries about what I’m doing, they often say things like, “ You are so brave, I could never do that.” or “Wow, I would love to do something like that—someday.” All that may be true, but I’m really not that unique. I’ve thought a lot about what compelled me to take this step, or leap, of faith and give up all that was familiar and comfortable for a life that was strange and took me out of the regional workforce and catapulted me into a world that tests my resiliency on a regular basis. One thing I have learned is that the expression “Home is where the heart is.” could not be more true. I have made a life for myself, made friends, albeit all young enough to be my children, have a job that I really do love and all this with the love of my life. That’s what jumping off the precipice is about. Although I really didn’t know all that this adventure would bring, I wasn’t clueless. I thought things through and came into the experience with an open heart and a big dose of trusting the process.
If I had been asked when I was in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or even my 50”s, if I thought I would be where I am right now, I probably would have said “Who knows?” and if you ask me where I will be in a year, I might give the same answer. Life is truly an adventure and all those cheesy clichés about living in the moment seem to be proving right. The truth is, I never really thought about my long-term plan. Instead, I have spent my time having one adventure after another. I may seem clueless about retirement, but to take a chance in life, to do something without knowing the outcome, or what the future will bring, does take courage and trust. It’s not at all clueless. When people tell me they wish or hope they will do something like this someday that’s when I realize that you can’t be clueless about your plans but have to be willing to be “keyless.”
We are off for a 6-day bike trip in Vietnam with a few days at the end to relax before we head “home.” Stay in touch and I will too.