We moved. Not out of Korea, but just to a new neighborhood about 15 minutes from our previous home.
It might seem a little crazy. We’ve moved four times in our seven years of marriage because of the Army. Why would we choose to move when it wasn’t absolutely necessary?
First, once you move enough, moving is not that big of a deal. You pack some boxes, you find a new home, you pay some money: bam! Time to redecorate! Moving will always be a hassle, but once you do it enough, it gets easier. I admit that I had my doubts about this move; those doubts were mainly founded in bad timing and laziness.
This move was a long time coming. Jared first came to Korea without me. He was required to obtain housing before I could come over. At the time, there were limited options and I was impatient to come to Korea. We accepted our former home because it was nice and convenient, but it really didn’t provide the lifestyle we were hoping for. It was in a very quiet neighborhood right across from Jared’s work. Although that neighborhood has started to have more restaurants, it was very limited. Our bucket list for a home in Korea included a more urban setting. We wanted to be able to walk out our door and try a new place and experience Korea. Our first home in Korea did not fit that criteria.
Jared was the one who really pushed for the move. It all started as I was winding down with the school year, we were going to Tennessee, and he was taking a new job at work. I was reluctant because of all that was happening and because I didn’t want to put the effort into figuring it all out (I was still exhausted from figuring out how to get Winston to Korea.) He said that it didn’t make sense for us to not take advantage of the situation while we could. We are young(ish), don’t have children, and really like to go out to eat. We should live in an urban setting while we have the chance.
So Jared spoke with our realtors, who knew our parameters- allows pets, close to walking trails for Winston, close to cafes and restaurants. He asked them before we went to Tennessee, and said that we would like to move in the summer. I get back from Tennessee late on a Thursday night. The following week would be my last full week of classes and Jared’s change of command ceremony. The realtors called me on Monday asking if we could go see a place. I said no. Too busy. Not the right time, please ask later this summer. They insisted. “This place is perfect; we thought of you immediately, etc.” I really, really did not want to go house hunting. I was still jet lagged, trying to make up for being out of the class for two weeks, and Jared was incredibly busy at work. I finally gave in and agreed to see the apartment, but I really didn’t think it would work out.
It was everything we wanted, plus high ceilings and a solar panel. Perfect. Dreamy. I’d go through any hassle to live in this apartment.
And that’s how we decided to move during the worst time possible into the best apartment possible. We didn’t even look at other apartments, because it seems absurd that anything could be better. There are at least 50 little cafes in our neighborhood; there are boutiques (including a ukulele shop); there are hiking trails and parks. My favorite part is the pedestrian avenue. It’s about two blocks long with a little stream in the middle and cafes that decorate with fresh flowers. It looks more European than Korean. We are close to bus stops and a ten minute walk to the closest subway station. In two minutes, Winston and I are in the woods, and the noise from the highway fades away. I find a new gem each time I wander through the streets- a pottery store, a pancake house, a bar that serves only whiskey (that one’s for Jared.) I’m only sad that we didn’t move here in the first place.
Including this most recent move, I’ve moved 10 times in my life. I get around. I don’t really have a concept of who I would be if I hadn’t moved all those times, but I know that it’s impossible that I’d be the person I am today without those experiences. How will I change with this new home? Perhaps with higher expectations for our next house and another 5 pounds from all the new restaurants to try.