Lola Pak

Name

Lola Pak

Age

23

Location

France / Atlanta, Ga.

Occupation

"Real job"-less college grad, nomad

Own Words

In December '08, I graduated from the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!) with bachelor's in magazine journalism and French. Due to the abysmal job market that has befallen the U.S. in recent times, I am proud to say that I now have not one, but two degrees which have rendered me useless. So what did I do?

Move to France.

I've been living in the Brittany region of France since this past September, and when the clouds finally clear and it stops raining for two seconds, I find myself loving it more and more. I came here as a part of the French Cultural Ministry's efforts to build cultural bridges between France and the world. I spend 12 hours a week at two public schools as an English language assistant. I get paid less than the French minimum wage but I receive more in social security than what the average elderly person does in the U.S. Vive la France!

I've been asked several times why I chose to learn French. And my answer has been, why not? It's a beautiful language, written and spoken, and the French have an amazing culture, one that goes far beyond croissants and stripe-shirted mimes. Brittany itself has a culture of its own, stemming back to its roots as a Celtic nation apart from the rest of France. You won't find better crepes or galettes anywhere else. Wash it down with some heavily-spiked cidre and you're now a full-fledged Breton!

I live with two roommates, one American and the other German, in a lovely house with our landlord, a 75-year-old Frenchman who loves numbers, encyclopedias and driving his rusting Renault to see his girlfriend, Monique. They are some of the most precious people I have had the privilege of meeting and give me hope that love can be found at any age.

In May, I will return to Atlanta, Georgia, where I was born and raised. Koreans hated on Atlanta so much growing up, but I've always loved calling the Peach State my home. While LA and New York were always known as Korean American hotspots, Atlanta was shafted to country bumpkin status, which is so not fair because it is a vibrant city with just as much culture as any large town. In recent years, the Korean population has skyrocketed, as Koreans from all over - Korea, Alaska, even LA and NY! - have migrated to warmer skies for the cheap living costs and education. I'm a huge fan of Martin Luther King Jr., southern cookin', and crunk music. A-town represent!

I have a wide range of hobbies and passions that make it frustrating to put me in a category, but some are: photography, interior decorating, learning languages (my next goal is German), cooking and trying different cuisines (love Indian and Italian), watching House and FlashForward (love John Cho!), reading design and travel blogs, Facebooking (who doesn't?), hiking coastlines (living in Brittany really helps!) and traveling. Honestly, it might be easier to list the things I DON'T like instead :)

My dream is to be an editor for a travel publication and go around the world telling the stories of the people who live in it. My next few travel plans will take me to Tokyo for the holidays to visit my sister who is studying abroad, and to Germany in April to visit my roommate's family in Berlin. We'll also drop by Austria and Prague, two places I've always wanted to visit. As the French would say, "Il faut profiter!" ("You must take advantage", in this case, of being in Europe, because who knows when I'll be back?)

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