• November, 2010
Booked a one-way flight to Hawaii. Cousin had a spare bedroom open in January, Started selling off everything that couldn't fit in my backpack. [Vyst's Note: this included a condo.]
• January 11th, 2011
Had an epic going away party and said farewell to my family and friends. Hopped on a plane to Hawaii with no intentions of returning to Washington anytime soon.
• June 6th, 2011
Returned to Washington for my buddy's wedding. He got back from a stint overseas in the marines and had a few weeks to marry his fiance. Talked with my friend Anton who is in the army and stationed in Korea. Decided to book a flight to visit for two months at the end of October.
• November 2nd, 2011
I land in Seoul, South Korea. Anton informed me a week ago he would be in field training the first week. I had booked my flight back in June so there was no changing the dates. Anton's dad, Frank, works for Boeing in Korea. He picked me up from the airport and dropped me off at Anton's house. I was alone and very confused for my first week in Korea.
• November 9th, 2011
Anton returns and we explore Seoul for three weeks. The city is huge, the castles are amazing, and the club scene is insane. The nights we spent downtown were a blur of dancing and drinking. Seoul, I decided, kicks ass.
• November 28th, 2011
Anton's wife back in Florida was having their second child. The army miraculously lets him return home early to be there for the birth. My return flight is in the 25th of December. Anton tells me I can stay with his dad who lives six hours south in the small country town of Sacheon, Korea. I have no choice and reluctantly agree. I am not happy.
• December 4th, 2011
The first night I arrive Frank takes me to the Beatles where I watch a gorgeous Filipina, Maxine Orio, sing for the very first time. We hit it off and plant to meet up the next day. Max is going to show me around town. I am liking this more and more.
• December 9th, 2011
The week had been amazing. I am officially dating Maxine and though we have no idea where our relationship is going since I am heading home December 25th. We forge ahead anyways.
• December 24th, 2011
During one of the greatest Christmas parties ever, I am introduced to a Filipina English teacher named Emcie. She tells me that if I ever plan on returning, she could hook me up with a job.
• December 25th, 2011
My Christmas lasted 34 hours. I spent Christmas morning with Max and Frank in Korea. After 20 hours of travel I landed in Washington at 11am on the 25th. My family had no idea I was returning home. Lots of emotions this day.
• February 5th, 2012
I am back in South Korea with a job lined up teaching English. I spend the first week with Max before heading to Jinju to start.
• Mid March, 2012
I finish my teaching stint and move to Geoje with Max. We both decide we want to move to the Philippines so I can meet Maxine's family.
• May 5th, 2012
I arrive in the Philippines and meet the family. I immediately fall in love with the country and feel at peace with myself.
• June 6th, 2012
I am officially engaged to Maxine. We find out about the retarded and difficult process of getting her to the United States. I have to head home while she remains in the Philippines. I start looking for a flight home.
• July 3rd, 2012
I fly back to Washington and begin job hunting. We have to be apart, at minimum, for at least 9 months. I am not happy at how things have to be, but deal with it the best I can.