Banana Bread Breakdown – On Expat Exhaustion


Nine months into 2018 and I have published exactly eight blog posts. Less than one a month – a record low for me! I’d like to say that I have been having suuUuuUuUch an amazing time that I’ve been totally distracted by other things, but that’s not exactly the truth. Well, it’s partly true that I’ve been doing lots of other things, but those other things have been work, spending time with friends, and scrolling social media on my phone; none of which have stopped me from creating content before.

The nervous banana bread breakdown

What’s really been the problem has come to a head in the last couple of weeks, all because of a tweet I saw while scrolling Twitter one lazy evening after work (one of many). Someone I follow had said they were going to go home after work and bake some banana bread. First, I though “damn, I would really love some banana bread” and then “why don’t I just make it?” and then “but you don’t bake ever” and finally “but you baked all the time at home in England, so why not here? You have an oven that you spent enough money on.” Spiraling, all because of banana bread.

Of course, it’s not just banana bread that did this to me. I had also been feeling overwhelmed recently by the sheer amount of things I needed to do, coupled with the massive list of things that I wanted to do that just kept piling up, up, up. A pile as high as Namsan Tower (my overwhelming thoughts, not my laundry, though that’s not far behind). And banana bread made it all come tumbling down.

Expat life is exciting and exhausting

I guess this is what some people might call burnout. Others might say it’s hitting a wall. Expat burnout, maybe? I’m not sure. But what I did (do?) know is that I’m over having an exciting life right now. All I want to do is have a routine – work, gym, dinner, TV drama, sleep. Rinse and repeat. I want to sleep at a normal time and I want to eat breakfast before I go to work and I want to have my scheduled coffees and thus regular toilet breaks and just be regular and plain and ordinary. I want to come home and bake banana bread, and then write a blog post. Maybe change it up a little and pop to a friend’s café after work every now and then. Or go to the shops, or have dinner with a friend. But keep to my boring little routine in the week, and use the weekends for fun and productivity.

I adore Seoul. It has its negatives, of course, but I LOVE living here and I wouldn’t change it for anything. But life’s inconsistencies and excitement and the evening’s potential have been so much recently that I want to dial it all back a little and bring myself some peace. I still have a list of things to do as long as Gong Yoo’s hair as Kim Shin in Goblin, but I’m going to go a little easier on myself for ticking them off right now.

Also, currently hoping that I can kick writer’s block by posting this stream of potentially incoherent babble. There’s a lot more that I could say about this topic, but I shan’t right now.

Want to know more about my life in Korea? Visit The Seoul Diaries for stories on life in the capital, or read my top tips and recommendations for South Korea!

One response to “Banana Bread Breakdown – On Expat Exhaustion”

  1. Being an expat truly is exciting and exhausting at the same time. Things are pretty much new and you need to adjust always.

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