Always Living, Seeing and Learning
Last month, we headed to Australia for three days. Yes, you read that correctly, three days. It wasn’t the most ideal trip, but when your younger sister is getting married and your job already gives you four months of vacation, you can’t very well ask for more off, nor can you skip the event. In the end, we felt like it was a great introduction to the country, we met some nice people, and we couldn’t have asked for much more out of the three days available.
Luckily, there are flights that leave from Seoul in the evening and arrive in Sydney in the morning and since there isn’t much of a time difference we didn’t suffer from jetlag at all. We were picked up from the airport by my sister’s fiancé, like he didn’t have enough to do, who drove us straight to the hotel in Wollongong, an hour out of the city, so I could get my hair, make-up and lunch under way. It was great to see my family, and really as most people probably feel, we jumped right into our usual roles as if we’d just seen each other yesterday. The bride-to-be was upstairs surrounded by people and my other sister was out front taking a break from the hubbub when we arrived. Even if I did have jetlag, I certainly wouldn’t have had time to show it. It was all go go go until we headed to bed at about 2 in the morning. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The wedding was on the beach and was just gorgeous. The torrential rain storm that had battered our car on the way from the airport to the hotel had ceased and it was slightly cloudy, which was perfect for photos. It was a rather intimate affair and though the winds made it difficult to hear, it went off without a hitch. I, of course, began to cry as I did my reading and had to stop half-way through and let my youngest sister take over. I seem to have become the emotional one of the three of us, so no one should have been surprised. My youngest sister took over rather smoothly, as if it had been planned, and the bride gave me a smirk over her shoulder as if she should have known this would happen. After the ceremony, we headed inside for the reception. It was a little slow to get those Aussie guests dancing, but my family and I didn’t need too much coaxing and held down the dance floor until the rest decided to give in to our invitations and join us. I drank my fill of Australian brews and danced the night away in joyous merriment to celebrate with my sister and her new husband.
Wollongong was beautiful, but even more beautiful was my sister and her wedding and being there for it. Flying to Australia for three days, though I may say it nonchalantly, wasn’t. I’ve been lucky in my short life to have been able to travel a lot more than most people, but that’s not because someone is handing me plane tickets. A friend of mine who just finished up a year-long trip around the world mentioned in a post that she couldn’t remember the last time she had bought new clothes. Her and her husband made a conscious decision to pay for experiences through travel in their lives and not for clothes and other objects unless necessary. Reading her comment gave me a moment of contemplation. I like to shop just like most girls, but I don’t go if I am not getting some sort of paycheck. My mother must have instilled quite the idea of budgeting and working for money, because after getting my first job when I was 16, I haven’t stopped working, except for when I’m traveling of course. When I was in elementary school, I’m not sure who exactly, but someone set up a program to allow students to set up free of charge savings accounts and the “tellers” would be sixth graders who would run a booth during lunch time. I remember vividly the first time I took my piggy bank to school. I dumped out tons of coins and the sixth grader counted them studiously as I watched anticipating the final amount, as a side note, I still have that savings account today almost two decades later.
Through being taught at a young age that saving was important and continuing to budget and being married to an amazing husband that has accepted that for the rest of his life we will have to spend money to travel to either my home on the other side of the world, or when we move there, to his home on this side of the world once a year, I have been blessed, and I am thankful for this every day. When I started this blog a couple years ago, it was to help me keep myself motivated to get out and about here in Seoul. Doing that here in the city I have called home for seven years now, has also kept my eagerness to travel abroad alive in kicking as well. Whether it was three days or three months in Sydney, it was totally worth it and I hope that everyone that gets a chance to see something new down the street, in the next city, state or another country always takes the opportunity to live, see and learn.