I’m Starting a Travel Blog

DEAR READERS,

I’m not entirely sure why you follow this blog, or read things I write, but I appreciate you nonetheless.

I’d like to point out that I’ve begun a new project, A Long Way Back, a travel blog meant to detail my three-month trip to reach Canada from Korea. The plan is tentatively to spend one month in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Borneo, Malaysia, Indonesia); a few weeks in India, undecidedly the north or south; a few weeks in the Middle East (possible stopover in Dubai, certainly Jordan and Israel); then one month crossing Europe by train and plane to fly back to Toronto (maybe via good ol’ Halifax) in time for mid-December.

Right now the blog offers only a few reposted stories from this site and around the web, but I’ll be updating it with stories from around the world for the rest of 2013. I’d appreciate any follows, hits or comments (advice?) you can spare.

Thanks,

Michael

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A BRIEF AND PROBABLY INCOMPLETE NOTE ON WHY I’M STAYING IN KOREA

IN LIGHT OF my recent decision to stay in Korea, which is all but finalized, I’ve decided to give the ol’ website a face-lift and add a “blog” section specifically for posts like this, in the rare event that I form an opinion and don’t self-righteously decide to publish it in a magazine or something.

A few words on my very specific reasoning to stay in this country, for all those who care: firstly, and most fundamentally, I kinda like my job. I have the unique privilege of being a public elementary teacher in a school of fewer than 140 students; I know almost every student’s name and English level, and, with regards to some, occasionally sympathetic familial backgrounds. I’ve noticed that I feel strangely more adult when working with these kids, which is maybe to say that these little demi-humans are, as much as they are challenging, also endearing, in a hopelessly obnoxious sort of way. Plus, next year I get a raise.

Secondly, while I could undoubtedly pick up a “real” journalism job somewhere in Canada, I figure I’m still young enough that I’d like to dick around with writing a bit more. I’m far from great and further still from confident; having recently been hired as copy editor for Busan Haps (“hired” is a bit of a stretch; really I met the editor at a bar and asked him and he said yes), I figure if I can help that publication grow and write “Copy Editor for 18 months” on my resume, even if it is a between-the-cracks sort of part time gig, I’ll take it.

We can skip to the social stuff but I’m not keen on rating my friend groups publicly, except for Gabe, who smells like fart all the time. Suffice it to say it’s shit that I’ll be in Asia during an upcoming year when virtually every Canadian friend of mine will be in Toronto, but I’ll see you kids again, as opposed to some chaps (deliberate wording) here whom I’m not likely to shake hands with again for an uncertainly long time.

And then there are the little things, like ubiquitous travel, warmer weather, a girlfriend [until she comes to her senses], beautiful mountains, obscenely cheaper food complemented by no add-on tips or taxes, and a central downtown apartment of my very own. Which is not to imply that Canada, or specifically Toronto, does not allow me any such conveniences, or different ones, such as relatively bike-friendly streets, nicer architecture or the double-edged sword that is living with my parents – but I’d rather stick it out here a bit longer for the simple and dominant fact that it’s useful and I’ll never get this life again. In essence, everything in Canada will still be there when I decide to return, whenever that is… which is probably just one more year.