I have always been a planner. My Google calendar used to be booked up every hour by the hour. I didn’t have time to take a step back and reflect. My recent journey has allowed me to do so and I was a different person. I didn’t plan every detail. I took each day as it came and let whatever happen happen. We would wander around and happen to run into kind and interesting people. I didn’t have a phone (besides in Seoul) nor did I use my watch. Time didn’t exist. It just did not matter. I became more adventurous and let curiosity take its lead. I am, however, cautious and aware of my surroundings. There could be nothing worse than being taken advantage of or captured in a foreign land! Anyway things just lead you in the right direction and it always works out some how.

I walked a lot. I decided to try to maintain this form of transportation back home even though the scenery of the busy road, fast food chains, and gas stations is not pleasant. I took a walk to activate my cell phone on Saturday afternoon. On the walk back with a dragon fruit green tea in hand, I came across a sign (literally). It was in hanguel (Korean alphabet). Out of curiosity, I walked in toward the sign. I was greeted with a “annyeonghaseyo!” by a cute lady. I ended up speaking with her and her husband (the pastor of that church). They invited me to come whenever. They are so sweet and understanding about my situation and that I cannot communicate in Korean. I ended up going to the service this afternoon. I did not grow up with a religious background so I never went to church. Gilsa was so sweet and stayed with me the entire time to make me feel comfortable. The sermon was in Korean but she gave me some translations and told me what was going on. I met a lot of other Koreans who are interested in my story and kindly welcomed me to the community. After they served lunch (SPICY Korean food!) and I sat with the pastor, his wife, two UNF professors and their families. I talked a bit about one professor’s research and how psychology can be tied to what he studies.

I have a breakfast date with a woman my age who also happens to have the same Korean name as myself. I am excited to get involved in the Korean community in Jacksonville. I also begin Korean language classes on September 4!

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