The countdown has started. AKA: “Light at the end of the tunnel”


It seems to be the month of threes.

As I write, it’s three days until my last assignment is due of my 9th class. (9 is 3 squared. Yeah! )

I’ve had to get documents authenticated from three states to get my work permit in Vietnam.

I just paid $50 to send my document by 3-day mail to Vietnam.

And…biggest of all…in three months I will be stepping on a plane in Atlanta bound for Ho Chi Minh city.

Wow! What a journey. This is about the point in the experience that I actually start to realize that a big change is happening and it’s happening fast.

The thing is, I haven’t had a second to think about it until today. This grad class has been hell in a handbasket, and trying to mesh my grad school, my teaching job, and all my visa documents has lead to some serious day-to-day thinking.

But this week, on spring vacation from my school…I had two realizations. Both hit me like a ton of bricks. For the reader’s benefit I will lay them out for you very detailed-ly. Here we go.

Realization #1:

I am happy!!!!!


I know right! Freaking insane! I’ve got a great wife, a great job, a great future….who would’ve know. Not me! That’s who…not!

When you’re in the middle of the ring fighting for sanity, it’s hard to see the light. But here it is, and, as it turns out, I’m not too bad off!

Funny how this realization hit as soon as the stress resided.

(in other news, I went to get my hair cut in Boston last week…and found out I have the beginning of a receding hairline. Thanks stress….I owe you one)


Yep….give me two years, and I’ll look like that guy….but….moving on.

Realization #2:



(P.S. — I have no idea why this picture came up when I google-imaged “vietnam” …. but it’s pretty much the story of my next year)

I know. Vietnam! Who would have thought?

Well…me…that’s who, if I would have read that contract I signed! Vietnam! Wow!

My dad told me he spent a lot of time trying to avoid the place, and here I go, of my own free will.

But this week it really started to hit. Holy crap, I’m going back to Asia. It’s my home, my heart my soul. How can I resist. And the expat community is where I find my comrades.

So, back to the point, this is real. I moving. Which means:::::::

-I have to pack

-I have to move

-I have to sell stuff

-I have to learn a new language

-I have to re-adjust to Asia…just as I was getting used to these American ways again…

Okay, okay, I get it. It’s not so bad!

Yes, yes. I get it. I have a great job in a great country with a great paycheck at a great school that will fly me and my great wife halfway around the world (no really….look it up) and pay for great healthcare and great retirement!

All I can say is…..


In summary, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

I have five more weeks of school, one more class, two weeks on final exams for my masters….and then….48 hours later…I’m hopping on a plane to my new life.

Well all. That’s it for now. My two revelations.

And, just thought I would end the post by bragging a little, this is my future apartment complex!


Yep, a pool, tennis courts, Korean food, roof garden…and (not shown) someone to clean my house and wash my clothes three times a week.

So……pretty much like Connecticut! πŸ™‚

Until next time,

-Big E

The countdown has started. AKA: “Light at the end of the tunnel”

A Change in Perspective


The snow is falling in Connecticut today. The Connecticut River, still recovering from the attack of -18 degree C weather, is covered with ice and snow. As I watch the flowless river, three large birds find a rare breach in the ice and touch down–not another living thing in sight.

As I drive the long way back home, the roads not yet plowed, my mind begins to wander.

Things are slower today. 20kpm is about as fast as I can drive; there are no other cars out; the road is mine; my entire world is caked in a shallow layer of snow. White snow–yet unpolluted by the passing trucks and the settling dust in the air. Purity.

It seems perfect analogy for my life at the moment: a slow down. Not yet…but soon.

In less than eight months, I will be living in Vietnam. In ten months I will long for golden leaves and apple cider. And in twelve months, I will miss the snow–the cold–the purity of winter air.

It dawns on me that for the last three years, even since we moved from Alaska, I have taken far too little time to enjoy my surrounding. Too focused on work, too focused on school, too focused on travel.

I have to admit, a lot has been accomplished in the past three years. While diving headlong into the grueling-yet-rewarding boarding school life, I took on a full time master’s program, took on some committee roles, took on a NCTM presentation, took on a leadership role for the summer program, took on…took on…

Too much taking on…not enough taking in…and perhaps too much taking out on…

It seems that louder and louder over the past three years I’ve been singing to myself–to my life–a song by Dierks Bentley: (this will probably be the only time you catch me making reference to a country song…bask, I say, BASK!)

And yet today, with the snow on the ground, I can feel my perspective changing.

As I look back at my time in Korea, living life at 1000mph, full of angst, uncertainty, volatility, and youth…I’ve now what I was looking for then. I have the best girl, and best relationship, I can imagine. I have a respected career. I have a degree, a plan…a future.

I’ve been focused on my immediate situation so intently–a necessity when living with so few moments to spare.

But now, I have to zoom out. I’m no longer just a resident of Connecticut, I am a transient–my friendships will be cut short.

I’m no longer just a member of my school community, I am a leaving member who has to focus on closing out healthy friendships.

I’m no longer just an American…

I’m no longer……….

………things are changing.

In the coming months we will pack, ship, move, get visas, get degrees, sell cars, sell stuff. And move to Vietnam. This blog will remain to tell our stories, our thoughts, our feelings, our happiness, our angst, our celebrations and our disappointments.

Will you join us in our adventure?

-Big E 빅이

A Change in Perspective