Not many people know this, but I actually applied to teach in Japan late last year, for a short-term contract starting in April 2020.
My plan was to see as much of the country as I could and eventually return to South Korea in late 2020. As is pretty obvious now, that didn’t materialise, but that was also pre-COVID, and we all know how the world has been thrown into flux since then. Despite being so enamoured with Japan and all it had to offer, I honestly consider that something of a blessing in disguise.
In the months since, South Korea has given me a genuinely ‘soft life’ that I’m not sure I would have elsewhere. Nonetheless, I still treasure the travel memories – like this visit to ethereal Arashiyama Bamboo Forest – and hope to return someday, whether that be in a personal or professional capacity.