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Tomorrow, August 2nd, marks my one-year milestone in Korea.

I’ve experienced some of the best times in my life here, and some of the very, very worst. I can’t say which I have learned more from. There have been times that I’ve thought I wasn’t strong enough to endure the pain, even this far into my time here. Some days are more painful than others, but one thing I’ve noticed every day is that I miss my family and friends. I don’t think that will ever change.

My personality is very unique. I am not like anyone you’ve ever met. To girls, I am the nicest guy who tries my best to please and understand them. I go out of my way to be generous, understanding, and caring. It is this kindness and generosity that has landed me in trouble in certain situations. I give too much of myself to others, and can be taken advantage of. Even when I know that I am being taken advantage of, I still don’t mind because I know that I am contributing to her happiness. While this sounds very good, and what every girl would look for in a guy, it has also proven to bring me a lot of pain and suffering.

This is one of the many things that I have learned about myself here.

From afar, I have watched my family change as well. My brother has become engaged to a great girl whom I love, and my family loves as well. My other brother has graduated and is on his way to flight school. Both of these people are very important to my life, and I am almost jealous of their successes.


My brother Alex

My brother Matt and his soon-to-be wife

My brother Matt and his soon-to-be wife

Anyway, I just wanted to reflect on one year of being across the planet from everyone I know and love. The world can be a lonely place, but not if you’ve got a great family to support you no matter where you are. So remember this. Hug your parents. Love them for loving you. Tell everyone how much you appreciate them. One day you may end up very far apart, and no matter how long your arms are, you won’t be able to reach them for that hug that you so desperately need at times.

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  1. Sounds like you’ve been doing some soul searching.
    A person’s maturity, I believe is largely depend on their depth of knowing themselves.
    Congratulations on your one year anniversary.
    It has been hard on your family, but very gratifying to see the teacher you have become.
    Keep up the good work, you may be one of those kid’s “special teacher” who they will remember all their lives.
    What a great foot print to leave, not so much on the world as a whole, but on one young heart at a time.

  2. Thanks so much for the kind words Mike, we love you.

  3. Hey Mike!

    Wow, it’s been a year. I honestly feel like congratulating you because I can sense how challenging this experieince can become, even after only being here for a month. I guess with these things there are ups and downs and it’s unavoidable, but totally worth it. Are you heading back to Canada now?

    Sometimes being away from home too, makes you realize and appreciate what you have even more.

    It’s good that you are a nice guy who tries to understand women. Being generous and caring is most definitely not a negative thing — both attributes are pretty amazing actually. If it lands you into trouble it just means you haven’t found the right person yet. I guess all nice people are sometimes taken advantage of… in a way maybe it’s inevitable. I think it’s important to remember to be smart though, and to remember that you wouldn’t want to be with someone who takes avantage of you anyway.

    It seems like you might think that you’re jealous of your brothers but I think that you’re just very proud of them. Also, I can say for myself that I’ve been feeling the same way about everyone “growing up”. Friends back home are buying houses and getting married and here I am in Seoul. Sometimes I wonder about my life too… but I realized that everyone goes on their own path where things eventually will fall into place.

    ahh this is the beauty of life.

    It’s great that so many people have been on your blog! You’re a great writer Mike, but how you have the time to update it regularly… I’ll never know :p

    Take care,


  4. Hey Steph,

    I’ll stay here till April, and then I’ll likely go home. Also, being ‘smart’ with love doesn’t make sense. I think that using both in the same sentence creates an oxymoron of sorts. It’s hard to use your head and your heart at the same time, as I have learned (and am learning) the hard way. Giving yourself completely to a person who doesn’t appreciate it is so tiring, frustrating, and painful, but at the same time, you learn your true feelings for that person, good or bad.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned here, it’s how to live comfortably in isolation, with the thoughts in your head as your only companion. The only one you can count on in this world is yourself. Sure I can count on my family for support, but in reality, they’re 15,000km away, and on a day-to-day basis, I am the only person who I can count on. Sad, isn’t it?

  5. The growth you have shown all of your family is remarkable. I am so proud of you, when I looked through your pictures and videos I just wanted to reach across the world and hug the hell out of you.
    you are unique in more ways than you realize your commitment to keep writing and showing these beautiful picture show who you are and what a truely gifted person we have in the family

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Best Of MikeInKorea « Mike in Korea on 01 Mar 2011 at 3:18 pm

    […] One-Year Reflection – August 1, 2009 […]

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