Taking the Leap


Art Installation: Myeongbeom Kim

It's official - I'm moving to Korea in August. I'll be living on Jeju, an island where the dialect is so different from standard Korean that UNESCO classifies it as a distinct language. And not only is it considered an entirely different language, it's a 'critically endangered' language. So yeah, I'll be living on an island where the people speak a dying language - I am so excited.

I've never lived overseas before, though I've always dreamed of it, and honestly it still hasn't quite sunk in that I will be embarking on what I see as my first real adventure in exactly 31 days....!  Though I originally intended to live in Busan, the idea of living on an island where I don't speak the language and has a matrilineal society (yesshhh girl power ^_~) has grown on me greatly. It feels like I'm going to really going somewhere new and I can't even fathom what lies in store for me.

I wonder if I'm being a fool, quitting in this economy. The fact that I just left a full-time job to chase after a dream of living abroad, of traveling, and going on some kind of adventure with no particular plans of what I'll do afterwards is terrifying.


But I am more terrified of living like this: Idling away my youth in suburban America, commuting 2+ hours a day, staring at a computer 8+ hours a day, and falling asleep every night wondering what it would be like to wake everyday happy - no, thrilled - to be alive.

I feel like I've spent my whole life like those goldfish - always looking out onto this vast ocean, but afraid to leave the comforts of what is familiar while swimming circles in a tiny bowl.

So, I'm taking a leap - a leap out of my bowl (ehe couldn't resist) - a leap of faith.


  1. Congratulations on taking that leap! You are embarking on a very exciting and fulfilling journey. Embrace it and enjoy the ride :)

  2. It sounds like such an awesome adventure, and you're so lucky you get the chance to do this!

    It's true, we're so busy trying to "make it" in this world - get good grades, find a good job,... - that we often forget life is more than that, life is also about experiencing new things, people and places. And what better time to go out and do stuff than when you're still young?

    Don't worry too much about quitting your job. Today's economy is bad, but eventhough there aren't many, there ARE still jobs, and something good will definitely come your way when it's time to go back to "normal" life. :) Good luck Elle!

  3. Aaahh!! I'm so happy and excited for you! Jeju is such a beautiful place. They call it the honeymoon island for a reason. ;) I still have plans in moving to korea too, but it's still in the works. If you don't mind me asking, what will you be doing there? Studying, working, visiting? If it's a little more in depth and detailed, I'd love to hear about it! (Email me?)

    All that fresh fish and pretty water....I miss jeju-do already!

  4. How exiting! & Congrats on the move!!
    If you could share, I'd love to hear how it goes. This is something I'd love to be able to do, but am still in the scared phase :X

  5. Wow, this is amazing. You are going to have an amazing experience and your whole perspective on life will change. My dad grew up in a very isolated village in China, and it houses a community of people who now speak a dying dialect so I can sort of understand you mean. It sounds like it's going to be incredible.

    I hope you can share more w/us... I'd love to know what gave you the courage to quit your job because I am sure you had a wonderful job! :) Picking at your brain, I guess.

    Don't abandon your blog though ^_^ I hope to see you before you go! :)

  6. Oh how exciting, Congrats on taking the leap. I know what you mean a few years ago I decided to move to the Philippines all by myself and I was home sick but I really did love living in a new place and enjoying the culture. I'm sure you will have a wonderful time and experience great things and have lots of stories to tell your future family. :)


  7. I still don't have enough courage yet, but moving to a different, unfamiliar country has long been on my list of things I want to do. It is very inspiring to see that you have actually done it, while most people just talk about it.

    You seem to have a great adventure lying ahead of you, so make sure to enjoy (and capture the joyful moments on your blog? ^_^). Any picture taken on Jeju island should look like a postcard. It looks like a very beautiful place to live in.

  8. That sounds so exciting! I haven't been to Jeju island yet but want to visit next time I am in Korea. I hope you travel and enjoy your life in Korea - I've thought about living there, but easier said than done which is why I am so proud that you are taking the leap!

  9. I think you're very brave for taking this leap! You never know what's in store for you if you don't try it out. :)

    I would love to visit you if I do ever go to Jeju island. :)

  10. This is exciting!!! What made you choose Jeju Island? A former blogger friend visited there and did a great post about the female divers on Jeju. It's quite a story.

    Where would Nemo be if he didn't leap out of the bowl??? Or did he only pretend to jump to fake out the dentist? I can't remember! But I'm sure you're going to treasure this experience. I wish all the best for you.

  11. You go girl! If you don't try, you'll never know. The world is for the brave! It's amazing how excited I am for you, even though I don't know you. I guess we share the same adveturous spirit. Lots of love and support and I wish you the best in this new chapter of your life!

  12. Awww! I've come out of hiding to comment on this post because it really reflects what I'm going through right now too! It's true, life is about taking chances for a chance of doing something that makes you happy and fulfilled! You're really brave for making the leap! I'm in the same situation where I know I'm not going to be happy working in a fulltime job, hating life and am hoping to move to Japan once I've saved up for 1/2 years. Good luck <3 Looking forward to hear about your adventures in Korea! :)

  13. Congrats, Elle! What an exciting adventure. I can't wait to hear about how things unfold :)

  14. That sounds amazing! I'm feeling a little stuck in the indecision phase of life, where I don't even know what adventure I'd take if I did take one, so I'm so crazy impressed with you taking this leap. I'm sure no matter what happens you'll look back on this new time in your life with a smile, because you stuck to your guns and made it happen.


  15. wow, i just stumbled upon your blog today and read this post. i think its amazing and very brave what you're doing. sometimes, i feel the same way - i wish i had to guts to quit my full time job and do something that i love. and the thing that has always held me back is a fear of the unknown. so congrats on taking risk, not enough people do it. i'm sure you won't look back.


  16. Congrats! I actually would be terrified to live abroad. To me, change is something that I don't like to embark on...unless I have someone with the same mindset as me and goes with me haha I'm sure it's going to be uber exciting and we're all going to live vicariously through you on this journey =] Blog about it!

  17. Omg... I feel so excited and so scared when I read this post ( a bit late, I know ) but I guess that must be how you feel too. It's all going to turn out great! I wish all the best in your next adventure and do hope you'll keep it posted here :)

  18. I feel like this is what happens when I miss a few posts. Life changing news! I wish you the best of luck!

    I'll just be starting my new job in a week and while it is a more conventional move, I'm excited all the same.

    7% Solution​

  19. Sorry I have been so out of the blogosphere lately! I only heard about your big move when I watched your most recent video! I just wanted to say that you are so courageous to make such a big leap of faith! I know what it's like to fall into a boring, repetitive routine that seems never ending, as if it will continue for the rest of your life. To want to get rid of that feeling of being stuck, wishing to escape.
    It's strange, because I don't know you in real life Danielle, but it makes me so happy for you that you are embarking on this journey and trying to experience life outside your comfort zone. I believe that we should all try our best to make the most of our youth and live a life of no regrets. I hope that everything goes well for you out in Jeju, and I can't wait to hear about your new experiences and adventures!
    Take care Danielle, and good luck!! :)


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