How wanting to fly led to getting a Master’s degree

Have I told this story here before?

When I lived in Korea, I got this bright idea that I wanted to learn to fly a hot air balloon. Totally cool, right?

They didn’t seem all that expensive. I could get van to hold it. I might even make some money giving people rides. Most importantly, though, it seemed like something totally fun that was just enough out there to make for a project.

I started doing some research.

In the process, I learned that there was an American guy living in Korea who gave flying lessons. But he didn’t teach ballooning (is that what it’s called?). He taught how to fly a plane.

For something like $5,000, I could learn to fly a plane.


But then I got to thinking, If I’m realistically going to spend $5,000, would there be an even better way to spend it?

I started looking at my options.

That’s when I realized I might be able to get another degree. I looked into programs I could complete while living abroad. I looked at what would be fun, rewarding, and possibly open more doors for me in the future.

Once I found something interesting, though, I worried about my grades. I’d be teaching, trying to live and fully experience Korea while I was there, and studying full time. Could I pull all that off well?

That’s when I gave myself permission to get bad grade. And that pushed me over the edge, when I let go of that fear.

I signed up, got accepted, and started a program.

About a year later, I had my Master’s degree.

I still sometimes wish I knew how to fly a hot air balloon. There are a lot of people who have Master’s degrees. Not as many fly hot air balloons.

But I don’t regret it. I made the right choice at the time.

And if I hadn’t originally wanted to fly a hot air balloon, I don’t know that I would have pursued my degree.