A Return to the World of Fantasy and Adventure

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Recently, dear reader, I have been in a bit of a funk. Overwhelmed by work, feeling like no matter how much I get done, there is always so much more than when I started. And this has been grinding on me. I’ve needed an escape, somewhere I can go or something I can do that is completely disconnected from the world which is causing me so much stress. And I have found it.

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The Next Six Months (or How I Plan To Go Out And Start Living)

So, when I last left you all, I promised thrilling tales for this next instalment. Well, prepare yourselves. The tales might not be as thrilling as I promised but I hope you read on regardless. First, a quick update on me. This past month, I have spent a good amount in the Steam Winter Sale (but with much to show for it) and treated myself to a new 3DS and Pokemon Y (because growing up isn’t all responsibility and boredom). However, one of the most exciting things I have done is (finally) visit a PC Bang with some friends. For those that don’t know, a PC Bang is a large room (or building occasionally) where people go to play PC games at a surprisingly cheap rate. My friends took me to join them in playing League of Legends, possibly the most popular game here in Korea. It was pretty fun and I would suggest going to a PC Bang to anyone visiting Korea (even if it is just the once). The age range in them is impressive (I see everything from middle school students to business men), as is their popularity amongst both men and women.

Apart from this, I have been up to very little. Many of my friends did something wise (and something I wish I had done) and travelled away for their winter break. Thailand and Hong Kong topped the list of ‘Most Popular Places Visited by People Having More Fun Than Me’. I will offer this piece of advice to anyone reading this. If you come here (or go anywhere else) don’t do what I did and waste your holiday being ill and stuck at home. Go out. Visit things. See people. Create memories and stories. This next semester, I have promised myself I will go out and do things. I will see more of Korea (and finally put my camera to good use). I don’t want to reach the end of my time here with the only thing I have seen being my apartment walls. If I wanted to sit in, I could have just stayed in the UK and continued not having a life there. I am not sure exactly what I am doing yet but I have several things on my list.

  1. Go visit museums and galleries – I did this a lot with a good friend of mine in the UK and one of the things I miss most is walking down the South Bank and going to the Tate Modern. I already told you, but in that respect Rosie, you changed me for the better. In the time I knew you, I went from not understanding art at all to actually missing seeing it (I still don’t understand it, mind you…)
  2. Go to temples and other historic sites – Those of you that know me (which, currently, I assume is everyone reading this blog) will know I am a massive history nerd. Given that my degree is in history, this should not surprise you. But I have not really seen much history since I arrived here in Korea and seeing history was one of my reasons for coming here. So this next six months I am going to wonderfully fun history based things. The biggest thing I want to do? A temple stay!
  3. Finally meet my wonderful friend Hayley – I have known her since I was sixteen years old (thanks to the wonder that is the internet). Unfortunately, we had the major disadvantage of living about as far away from each other as possible (She is a Kiwi and I was based in the UK). BUT this summer, after seven years, I am finally going to meet her. I am pretty excited by this. The internet can be a wonderful thing sometimes and my friendship with her is the best thing to have come out of it.

Apart from this, I plan to write a short series on the EPIK Application process. Although this is of no use to my family, I hope that someone stumbles across it and finds it helpful. I know I spent a large amount of my time when I was applying searching the internet for advice. I am also going to read more (currently working my way through some Hemingway), write more and generally stop dreaming and start living.

Wherever you are, I hope that you all have a great year (like the one I have planned). And if you are thinking of coming to Korea, do it. What do you have to lose? This is the best thing I have ever done, and my only regret is not taking advantage of it more!
I shall sign off now. But I will write again soon.