Monday, September 22, 2008
Why am I here?
Becoming a World Traveler
So here I am in South Korea, and I've noticed that I don't fit the profile of someone that moves to another country. For example, most people that move to another country for an extended period of time have fat passport books, know more than one language and have a healthy appetite for trying new things.
I, on the other hand, do not possess a thick passport book, a refined palate, nor have I mastered another language. Yet, I feel comfortable around these world travelers, and I also look forward to the opportunities that lay ahead of me. My biggest challenge is trying new foods. I am working on being more open to new kinds of food, but it's definitely a challenge. I think my narrow taste speak speak volumes about my character.
I am just as equally reserved in character as I am adventurous. There is a part of me that is spontaneous, wild and down for whateva and then there is also apart of me that is very analytical and reserved. Surprisingly the side of me that is the most adventurous is not my flesh, but my spirit. My spirit longs to be wild and live free, all the while my flesh wants to live confined to what is known and is afraid of following God for fear of what may come. So in a sense, the Spirit led me to South Korea.
Furthermore, while I appear to be outgoing and confident I sometimes struggle in other areas like pursuing romantic relationships and perhaps more generally going intently and aggressively after what I really want in life (I 'll be talking more about that a few weeks). The Spirit challenges me to take my fears head on and go hard after what I desire. So travel to me is a very spiritual thing because I am putting myself in new environments where I am forced to learned to depend on God more. New societal norms, new languages, new places all create an opportunity for growth and character development.
Travel for me has almost always been a angel, but it can also be a devil. What I mean is that travel also give people the chance to reinvent themselves/ betray their true character because for one, there is often no one to catch them in their contradiction. There is also behaviors that people exhibit as a result of adjusting to a new environments and as a result of separation anxiety. I am very aware of this, and so I try not to think of myself as above reproach. At the same time I am very open to growth. I welcome the opportunity to be changed by this experience. I think we have to be open to being changed wherever we are at. In all honesty, I wish I would have allowed college to change me a bit more. Growth is a good thing, my only prohibition is growth away from Christ because that is not growth, but degradation.
Why am I here?
Directions: Please select the option below that is the most suitable choice to the question "Why did Elliott move to South Korea."
A) Deep appreciation for Korean culture
B) Fetish for Korean women
C) To see if He has a higher exchange rate in Korea (reconsolidating coolness)
D) None of the above
And the answer is: (D) None of the above.
Prior to traveling here I did not have much of an appreciation or interest in Korean women or culture; neither did have enough hatred of America saved up to expatriate to a far away land. Beyond making money and having a cultural experience, my primary objective is to set a vision for what direction I will go for the next few years. When it's all said and done, my trip will have only been a success if I have built a bridge to my future that I can walk across for the next 3-4 years.
Posted by Elliott Ashby at 10:10 AM