“Why the hell are you moving to South Korea?!”
The recurring question I’ve been asked by family and friends for the last couple of months.
I made this crazy decision to move my butt across the world for a year to teach English and chose South Korea as my new home! Admittedly, my post-graduation vision did not comprise the words South Korea or teaching English abroad. But, rather involved me adventurously solo backpacking my way through (…eating my way through) South East Asia indefinitely (of course, with an abundance of savings to support the “indefinite!”), then eventually applying for some sort of obvious masters program that was relevant to my field.
…so why then? Well,
My “abundance” of savings amounted to a super impressive, whopping 0.
My “clearly defined” path of academia became not so clear when I realized I spent six years in a program that no longer supported my personal or professional interests (which have yet to be determined).
So South Korea it is… I guess?
Initially, when I deliberated possible opportunities for working abroad, South Korea never struck me as somewhere I really wanted to go. Let’s be honest… has it really ever popped onto your travel radar as a must-visit destination? Probably not.
Then things changed. My best friend took a leap of faith and moved to Busan, South Korea to teach English at a private school in November 2015. She ranted and raved about how amazing this country really was. Everything from the food, the awe-inspiring landscapes, the wacky and humorous nightlife, and the country’s architectural gems.
So I reconsidered. I started tirelessly Google searching South Korea, its teaching opportunities, possible programs to apply to, and of course, the food. I stumbled upon a mass of travel bloggers who all began their own respective travel journeys funded through the savings they had accumulated through teaching in South Korea. Alright, I was pretty well sold.
A few weeks later, I decided I wanted to teach in Korea based on the following reasons:
Work while traveling. I have some pretty itchy feet and am constantly seeking out a new adventure! How better to satisfy this itch then by moving to work in a destination that allows for ease of access to other Asian countries (Japan, China, anyone?).
New work experience. I experienced some major post-graduation blues when I realized I didn’t have a single clue of how I would use my degree professionally. I’m hoping that by working in a completely different field for a year that I can broaden my skill-set and gain some new insight as to what career path I want to pursue.
Some epic scenery. I grew up loving to hike and pretty much any activity that involves being immersed in nature. South Korea has an abundance of mountains and impressive hiking trails to satisfy my hunger for outdoor adventure.
Food. I love food and Korean food is pretty fantastic. Foods also differ by region, so this should prove to be additional incentive for me to travel the country extensively.
Job and financial security. While performing some extensive research I discovered that some of the job opportunities I was hoping to land abroad either paid enough just to live (not ideal) or didn’t provide a very stable job contract. South Korea provides both an opportunity to save money and provides a more than generous benefits package to make for moving across the world just a tad bit more comfortable!
So that’s it.
Now I’m taking the leap of faith. In a mere two weeks, I’ll be jetting off to begin my journey as an expat in South Korea. Follow me as I adjust to life in Boseong, a tiny, rural town, 4 hours from the country’s capital, Seoul. I really have no clue what’s in store for me in Boseong, except that Google tells me I will be drinking copious amounts of green tea in South Korea’s green tea capital (why am I a coffee drinker?!)…