I guess it's time to say안녕to Korea and this blog! My experience in Korea was life changing and a great opportunity to travel abroad/teach abroad and still make some money. There are plenty of places teach English abroad; however, without the teaching degree/license, it can be tough to find a job with a decent salary.
The highlights of my experience are endless - but to narrow them down to a few:
Frolicking around on the Great Wall of China!
Volunteering with Help Your Seoul!
Learning Korean Culture!
Meeting the Comfort Women!!
Meeting new adventurous friends!
My first ballet was AMAZING!
My Korean Loves!!
Traveling Japan alone!
I really loved a lot of my coworkers from my first school year! Danny, Kelly, Julia, Lucy, and Ann were so amazing!! Outback with Lucy and Ann - and dinners at Danny's house are some of the best memories I'll keep from Korea - 감사합니다
And this list goes on and on...
I already miss my adventures but I've learned it doesn't matter where you are - there are adventures everywhere and you've just gotta decide to LIVE your life. Yes, many of these adventures require money (which I don't have being that I am now unemployed) but there are so many ways to LIVE that don't require a cent. There is nothing worth more to me that spending time with my nieces and nephews and to me - that's really living - making a conscience effort to be a part of someone's life.
Before teaching in Korea I read A LOT of negative comments on places such as Dave's ESL (even though I think Dave's is an awesome resource!). A wise person once told me that those who complain on Dave's are people who are bored and lonely, sitting in their tiny Korean apartments instead of going out there and LIVING your life in Korea to its potential. My advice to those thinking of traveling to Korea is: GO! Research your school the best that you can - but just take a leap. The worst thing that can happen is you have to scrape some money together to fly home. You never know about a school. Not mentioning any names - but in my experience I've learned - that one year a school can be amazing and depending on a million factors we are unaware of - the school can do a complete turn for the worst the next year. Business in schools in Korea is done much differently than at home.
My advice to those who feel "stuck" in Korea is: be bad and bold! Stand up for yourself and don't let any school administrator let you down! You CAN leave, you CAN switch jobs - it just takes willpower! If you choose to leave early, make sure you collect your pension. That's YOUR money! They don't question you or care at the pension office. Just apply a day before your midnight run and it'll be in your home bank account 1-2 months later.
Thanks to my family and friends who supported my decision to run away to Asia and thanks to everyone who religiously read this blog. I downloaded a stat counter a long time ago that tells me how many people read my blog from each city - I am truly humbled by the readers from all over the world when the original intent of the blog was to keep my immediate family in the loop of what I was doing. At the time of this posting, there have been 11,885 pageviews from all over the world! Sadly, the most read post comes from Jeju Island: Loveland XXX. When I look at the stats, it shows people google Korea XXX and get that post. Ewwwww....
Thanks to the amazing people I met in Korea that made my experience all that much better. It's tough to live in another country at times. And you need good friends and neighbors to get you through those times.
I've enjoyed blogging so much - I have been thinking of starting another called "Minnesota Girl" -out to prove to the world that this great state has culture, don't cha know!