Take and explore every opportunity you can get!
It has been six months since I arrived in South Korea, and I must say that living in Busan is quite a challenging experience; however, there’s a saying that there’s opportunity in every difficulty so I grab one when I see one. The culture of the country is a bit fast paced and most people tend to dedicate their time towards work so I try my best to keep up with its busy lifestyle and at the same time, find an opportunity to have a quality time with myself. I listed few things that I have done.
1. Learn to read and write – it’s never easy to learn another language; what more if they have a different alphabet? It’s a double whammy! Most of the signage in every landmark is written in their native language, Hanguk, even in the menu in restaurants are quite difficult to understand and I have to rely on photos; so the best way is to at least know how to read and know what food I order.
Mekju hana chuseyo! 😛
Hopefully, I’ll be able to learn the language after a year!
2. Download Phone Applications – I am truly thankful I live in this era, google translate, subway schedules, bus, airline and even food name is available on line, somehow, life is less difficult having these trustworthy apps. Even online banking and where to watch a movie, smart phone is never a failure.
3. Hike – So now that I have google maps, I was able to learn South Korean topography and choose where to hike every week. I also tried researching about the place, but of course knowing where to go first is more important. Every place is truly breath-taking! Bukhansan, Cheonggesan, Jirisan, Jangsan, Hwangyeonsan and counting! My camera is always loaded with the beauty of Korea.
4. Run – Uphill, Downhill, Run near the beach, on the road, I can really run every where in Busan, the place is bike friendly and has a lot of parks to jog. There are also monthly races that I was able to join although I just really have to be keen in searching on these running events as most of the sites are only available in Korean.
5. Toastmasters – This global club has been around the country for years and being with toastmasters has always been a great help; being with Korean toastmasters helped me to adapt the culture outside work and having Ex-pats toastmasters allowed me to understand also their experiences in Korea. I even attended a national conference and I had loads of fun. It’s just too tiring though because it’s only for a day.
I’m really sure that there are still a lot of opportunities to explore here in Busan to avoid home sickness and boredom thankfully, I was able to adjust quite faster than what I thought. 🙂