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The Warmth of Korea

Garrett Harper is someone who can walk among kings but still hasn’t lost the common touch. He comes from something of a rough background, bouncing up and down the east coast of the United States. He is a current resident of South Korea, in the city of Mun Yeong.

In Korea, he has found a place to call home. This finally happened after many years of traveling the world as an army brat, an airman and more recently as an English teacher. He has some amazing stories to tell. Up to now, he has seen a good deal of life.

He compares Seoul to the New York city of our birth. We clicked as far as being to compare the New York of our birth, to what is being passed of as New York now. Growing up in New York gave many of us a heightened sense of awareness; maybe even a healthy paranoia.

Life in Seoul, as Garrett explains, is the polar opposite of the city where we were born. This occurs in the form of the safety it bestows on travelers as well as residents. It is a safety that draws countless black Americans to Korea and Asia in general.

We have, in Asia, more of an opportunity to live as human beings. Living in Korea, as Garrett shares, has been a deeply spiritual experience. Garrett speaks about Korea with great affection. He counts himself lucky to have experienced so much warmth in this country and is most enamored with the Korean family structure. Family bonds are of paramount importance in Korea.

One thing that made itself apparent, over the course of our interview is that Garrett Harper has a gift for telling stories. This particular gift evolved from a love of history and an affinity for different cultures. He has experienced several cultures over the course of his life and each one has shaped his personality.

In talking to Garrett, it’s easy to see his honesty and his openness. The influence of the military is plain to see in Garrett. He was formerly in the US Air force. It gave his life of structure and discipline. With that said, he still retained himself through the process.

His demeanor is very casual and laid back, however, Garrett exudes a directness that translates into a very likable charisma. He readily shares this with everyone he meets. He shared with me, his insights on how to live in Korea as a black expat. He gave me something of a blueprint for life there. The experiences that Garrett has had, the experiences that Asia gives you, are the most positive ways for a human being to grow.

What do you think?