Greetings from the Land Without Keys (aka South Korea).

Song Kang Daejeon Downtown
Our new home is in the heart of this downtown area

A new life and one without keys

I am super excited to be living without the burden of carrying around a bunch of keys to get inside my home or my in-law’s apartment. Maybe a keyless life is a metaphor about unburdening ourselves from a mortgage (we paid our final repayment last week). Whatever it is, I LOVE it.

We arrived on March 2nd after an exhausting 25-hour door-to-door journey and I have emerged from the haze of what was quite possibly the most difficult week of my life into a fabulous new world without keys.

It’s a big deal

I know sometimes I might seem glib about our move overseas and blasé about our decision to radically change our lives – and often it feels like no big deal – but it really IS a big deal. And so are keyless doors. We had a digital door lock on Point Cook home, but it also needed a security screen door and deadlock as well. I feel super safe here even with just two codes between us and the world.

It’s taken me a while to recover. I TOTALLY underestimated the physical and mental toll packing up, leaving everything and everyone behind and moving overseas would take. But I tried to keep my eye on what life would be like once we were there and settled. People kept asking me if I was excited to be going, but I only wanted to be there, not go through the process of getting there if that makes sense?

And there was this lingering guilt about taking a very loved little boy far away from family again and the farewells I wasn’t looking forward to made it hard to get excited.

Balancing my workload with everything we needed to do was challenging, but somehow, I managed and even took on an extra last minute blog writing gig and hosted The Great Melbourne Blog-in not long before we left. (And what a fantastic event that was, too. I can’t wait to host another one in late May or early June when The Monsta and I return to Australia for a visit.)

But somehow, we got our house packed up, sold or gave away most of our belongings and either stored the rest in our tiny 1.5m x 1.5m storage unit, donated it or dumped it on ma and pa’s patio for them to sort out (sorry!), said some teary goodbyes and got on that damn plane. Saying goodbye was hard. Watching others say goodbye to The Monsta was even harder.

And as I tend to after such an intense period, my body collapsed from a level of exhaustion I haven’t known since The Monsta was first born. But when we paid that final mortgage repayment and invoiced clients for dollars that are all OURS – not the bank’s, not the utility company’s, not the council’s, not the insurance company’s. Ours – it’s all worthwhile. Our property settlement is on Friday. Hooray!

Setting up home in the Big K and settling in

First experience of snow in KoreaWe found a wonderful little three-bedroom home in the downtown area of Song Kang on the outskirts of Daejeon where my in-laws live. Our suburb is pretty sleepy for a Korean suburb, but everything we need is right at our doorstep. Our rent is $A616.00 per month. We get 100MBPS internet with unlimited downloads is a hefty $AU13.00 per month. But most groceries and housewares are more expensive than Australia. Don’t ask me how much a bag of potatoes is. I haven’t dared look.

The Monsta has settled into his kindergarten better than I had expected. He loves his new teacher and friends and the language barrier doesn’t seem to be a problem. He goes Monday – Friday from 9:30 am to about 4 pm. His kindy only costs around $A330 per QUARTER. We paid over $800 per MONTH for Montessori daycare in Australia for three days per week and that’s with the 50% government rebate.

He even got to see snow one crispy cold morning before it melted. He loved it.

I’m working on a federal government website project that includes a content audit, information architecture redesign followed by lots of writing and editing. It’s ongoing for the next two months and it’s so lovely to have one project to focus on and not have to worry about hustling for new work for a while, especially since we’ve been in this transient state, though we feel settled now.

We’re slowly getting back into our digital real estate properties.

As we get into a new routine, expect to see more action and more creation happening.

The Land Without Keys

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