Why I Left South Korea
In May, a few months shy of me completing my one year contract teaching in South Korea, I was asked by my principal if I would be renewing my contract for another year.
Before moving to Korea, I was confident that I would stay another year if I was enjoying my experience. And, I was. By this point, I had been living in Korea for 10 months. I had become acclimated to the culture, the food, the people, the transportation system, and, I even listened to K-pop by choice. I was comfortable. And, I was happy.
But, after spending one week agonizing over my principal’s pivotal question, I finally decided I would not be signing on for another year. This was undoubtedly one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. I wasn’t just making a decision to leave a job – I was making a decision to leave behind the apartment I called home for a year, my bright and adorable students that put a smile on my face everyday, an amazing group of friends that I shared countless laughs and so many memories with, and, to finally close the chapter of my Korean expat adventures.
So, why didn’t I renew my contract?
As comfortable as I was, I realized that if I didn’t force myself to leave, I would be limiting myself to other possible experiences. I would be contradicting the exact reasons why I moved abroad in the first place. I moved abroad to experience everything different. I moved abroad to challenge myself across language and cultural barriers. I moved abroad to explore as if I was seeing through new eyes everyday. I moved abroad to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. And, because I had become comfortable in Korea, I knew I couldn’t stay for another year. It was time to begin the next adventure.
Why I Moved To Taiwan
I visited Taiwan during my Korean school holidays in January 2017. After only spending one week traveling through the country, I fell so hard for it, I knew that moving here after Korea was a very real possibility for me.
Click here to read more about my travels in Taiwan.
There was something about the laid-back personalities of the people, the more than agreeable winter climate, the jaw-dropping landscapes and scenery (from palm trees, to mountains, to waterfalls, to hot springs), the drool-worthy food, the beautifully striking contrasts between the modern and historic architecture, and, the complete sense of ease I felt while traveling here solo, that made me feel instantly connected to the country.
As different as it was from Canada, I felt very at home – instantly. I never experienced this type of connection with Korea. Actually, if I’m being completely honest, this feeling only came along after already spending half a year in Korea. I had to work for it. It wasn’t something that transpired naturally, or, easily for that matter.
And, for all of these reasons, I was drawn back here. It’s pretty surreal to think that the one week I spent in Taiwan, would have such an impact on me – that, it would be a week that would define the entire next year of my life.
Now, only 10 months after visiting Taiwan for the first time, I’m back. I’ve begun the second year of my expat adventures, teaching abroad in Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second largest city. I’m beyond excited to eat, explore, and experience everything the country has to offer, and, to share all of it with you!