Moving Day

For the last month, I have been preparing to leave Seoul for a destination unknown. As if moving from one foreign country to another is not enough, I have to go and add mystery and intrigue to an already challenging endeavor. I didn’t intend it that way; that’s just what life had in store for me.

After flirting with six cities on three separate continents, I finally have a destination. And as often happens in these cases, I have come full circle around the globe back to my original plan. It is no secret to anyone who has visited this space for the last year and a half that Japan stole my heart in a very big way. Since returning from Tokyo last October, Seoul has just not been the same. And so in two weeks time, I will be on my way back to Okinawa, Japan to spend a year or more with the sand and surf, riding bicycles and learning to sail, cooking with friends and exploring mainland Japan on the occasional weekend.  After four years of futuristic, fast-paced megacities, it will be a welcome break from city living. With all the benefits of being in Japan.

On Sunday, I moved out of my beloved loft apartment in Sinchon. It’s been a faithful home for the last two years, and I took a deep breath when I took that last peek through the door before letting it close. Saturday night, a few friends gathered to wine up on the blue couch before it was taken away to Erik’s the next morning. I’ll have you know we gave that apartment a great send-off.

In the last two years, I have watched a lot through those windows. Car accidents, motorbike accidents, student protests, late night drunkards and my very favorite part: the Friday Night Apgujeong Riders, a group of tricked out motorcycles with multicolored lights and musical horns that come blazing past at 3am on the dot every Friday night. Even when they wake me up, they always make me giggle. I mean really. A horn that plays La Cucaracha in Korea.

I’ve seen countless sunsets, thunderstorms, snow storms and brilliant blue sky days. It being Seoul, I’ve also seen the apocalypse more times than I care to count, thanks to the immense amounts of air pollution both produced locally and imported from China. But through those big windows, whatever is going on outside in the skies takes on a magical, movie screen quality. I’ve become the fastest lens changer in the east, slamming on that wide angle every time the sky went magical on me. What I’ve collected in two years, I’ve put together for you on Vimeo. I hope you enjoy.

Apologies for the poor video quality, and let’s not discuss the sensor scob from my old D80 which makes a frequent cameo appearance. When I am feeling more perfectionistic and expert level at video output, I will upload a higher quality version. But if I tried to do that now, you would be seeing this sometime in 2012.

30 Responses to “Moving Day”

  1. BF says:

    it’s been such fun watching the world through those windows. i can’t wait to see your next view!

  2. Oh! To new beginnings! I can’t wait to see what you find in Okinawa.

  3. carolyn says:

    aw. bittersweet goodbye but oh! so much ahead!
    my brother lived in (on) Okinawa for several years as a Marine. he really loved it there.

  4. carolyn says:

    p.s. love the vid. especially the snowy streets and the quick silhouettes of you in the frame. ;)

  5. It will be a bit sad to not get any more of these lovely photos from you window, but I cannot wait to see your new life in Japan.

  6. jodi says:

    so bittersweet. and i’m sad to hear that you won’t be gracing NYC with your presence anytime soon, but okinawa!! that will be very, very nice.

  7. lucie777 says:

    What news!! have a nice moving, if nice movings exist…

  8. hiki says:

    a year living in okinawa – how wonderful!!!! i would loooooove to do the same if i could!
    wish i could visit okinawa and see you while you are there, i so fell in love with that island this spring too.

    hope you have a nice farewell to those windows and what you have seen through them.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hiki! You are welcome to come visit while I am there. And I plan to come to Tokyo as much as I can…you know how much I love that place! I will see you soon!

  9. emily says:

    and what a window it was. wishing you loads of glorious light on your next adventure. and looking forward to seeing it through this internet window of ours.

  10. Tim says:

    safe travels! loved the video.

  11. Megan says:

    I’ve enjoyed that view. (The snowy ones are my favorite!)

    [insert "Safe travels!" in Korean and Japanese here]

  12. claire says:

    oh man. i’m so excited.

  13. melissa f. says:

    well! that settles it. huff and i need to take a little trip to japan.

  14. Phoe says:

    Best of luck and safe, easy, happy moving to you.

  15. amisha says:

    cheers to you and this next adventure, steph! i can’t wait to see what the next chapter is going to hold for you. and thank you, so much, for sharing these views. XO

  16. hannah says:

    stephanie i love you. i will come see your beach. let’s bank on it, yes?

  17. photine says:

    These windows are a blessing for any photographer. What a beautiful view. I’m excited to follow on your adventures in Okinawa. I was quite taken with the photos you posted earlier in the year and can’t wait to see more of this city. I’m a fan of sand and surf. I hope you have a smooth move.

  18. Wooow… Thanks for sharing these beautiful window pictures… I can feel the peacefulness you must have felt from living up there… Have a great & happy new start in Okinawa!

    • Stephanie says:

      I hadn’t really thought about it that way, Juliette, as the two years I lived there were far from peaceful. But it was my oasis in the chaos, and I will try to always remember it that way!

  19. Debjani says:

    Congratulations! I wish you all the best for Okinawa.

  20. tara thayer says:

    stephanie, i’m late here, i know…but i was actually thinking about where you were going next…i didn’t know, but figured you and everyone else did, so i was bashful to ask. how exciting to have a year long adventure in store.
    you write beautifully, stephanie, and of course i can’t wait to see photos of the next chapter. best wishes, tara

  21. Jacqueline says:

    So exciting to see your next place. That last shot is the perfect bittersweet parting picture.

  22. Stephanie says:

    Thanks everyone for the fist pumps and good juju. I hope my next home will please you all as much as this one!

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