Busan to Khon Kaen, In-Between Lives

Last time I wrote about life abroad on this blog, I was talking about Korean corpse soup. Now I’m putting up articles about visa runs to Laos. What gives?

A lot has happened since I last blogged, so I’ll try to catch you up. Long story short, Helene and I have left Korea, and don’t know when we’ll return (although it’s pretty clear that we will.)

Helene finished her contract with her school in Busan, which meant we had to vacate the apartment as well. Oh, how I’ll miss that glorious sea view! But if there’s one thing permanent travel taught me, it’s to appreciate what I have when I have it, and let it go with grace when the time comes.

Together, we headed down to Thailand for three weeks of relaxation in our favorite holiday country. Part of the reason was financial: a Bangkok-Montreal roundtrip costs the same as a one-way ticket from Seoul. Go figure. Helene sure didn’t complain, as it gave us three weeks together to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Finally found a Khon Kaen dinosaur!

Finally found a Khon Kaen dinosaur!

At the time of this writing, Helene is back in Montreal for two months. When she comes back, we’ll figure out our next step. In the meantime, I’ve gone to Thailand’s northeast, to Khon Kaen, to find a place to settle down while I wait for her. The plan is simple: Eat Write Run. (Hey, there’s a bestseller idea…)

Helene and I weren’t impressed with Khon Kaen when we visited in 2009. Many expressed puzzlement that I didn’t find something to like there, to the point that I became obsessed with revisiting the town and giving it a second chance. I’m glad I did, because I love it here now. It’s a bustling Isan town with spectacular food and warm people. The town is convenient and modern, but 100% Thai; people in general barely speak English, but they’re all happy to teach me Thai when they see my interest in it.

Busan already feels like a lifetime ago, although I miss the friends who made the place so special. I know in my heart we’ll be back some day. But for now, I’m glad to be spending some time getting to know another country I love.

About Daniel Roy

Daniel is a writer, backpack foodie, slow traveler, and endurance runner. He is the author of the upcoming book, "The Way of Slow Travel: A Hands-On Guide to the Best Travel of Your Life."

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