As we go on, we remember...

Will I use this blog post title each time I leave a country or experience? Perhaps!

I guess that was an half-baked hint into what this blog post is about, huh? Well, you guessed it folks. I’m leaving Korea… Oh the bittersweetness.

Short story, I got a new job that better aligns with my personal and career goals elsewhere. So, I’ll be moving to the Middle East and working as a Writing Instructor at New York University, Abu Dhabi!

 
 I've always wanted a pet to call my own.

I've always wanted a pet to call my own.

 

The story of my application and acceptance at NYUAD is one of consistency and the power of professional networking, but I’ll save that for another day. In this post, I want to talk about some of the things I’ll miss about Korea and some of the things I’m looking forward to!

(Wait, before we jump into that fun stuff, I need to mention that I’ll be relocating to the UAE on my 25th birthday; my personal New Year! If that doesn’t scream *NEW START* then I don’t know what does.)

The hardest part about leaving Korea, aside from my anxiety and guilt over resigning six weeks earlier than I was supposed to (I definitely lost sleep and shed a tear or 10), was saying goodbye to my students. Mind you, I was only able to tell the handful of students who joined me for English camp during my last two weeks, but I couldn’t tell the other 400+ students I wasn’t going to return after summer vacation as they thought I would. The thought of it brings tears to my eyes, now. At that point, I hadn’t signed an offer letter with my new employer and didn’t want to be inconsistent with them. *sigh* Anyway! That’s what made this whole transition bittersweet.

Beyond that, I’m excited!! I can’t even imagine what my life will be like six months from now, but I’m certainly looking forward to the change and the challenge, and am so thankful for my journey. Let’s get into this listtttttt:

 

5 things I’m looking forward to:

  • An oven - I love to cook and I want this amenity back in my life!

  • A bathroom that fits me - ...and that has a sink. I can’t tell you how disturbed I’ve been with my bathroom, but it has made me resilient, haha.

  • An intellectual and like-minded community - Not to insinuate people in Korea aren’t intellectual, but I didn’t find that tribe here. *shruggs*

  • Diversity - speaks for itself! *strokes chocolatey skin*

  • Garlic bread, beans, pizza, other food without sugar in them - I have a sweet tooth, but not like this, haha.

 

5 things I’ll miss about Korea:

  • My students! - let me leave this here like so... not tryna cry again.

  • Friendly, helpful, and inquisitive people - My interest in authentic interpersonal relationships was certainly heightened during my time here.

  • Feeling like a celebrity wherever I go, mostly - I guess I mean the excitement and positivity I feel from people I interact with on a daily basis.

  • 비빔밥 (bibimbap - rice with vegetables) and other delicious Korean meals - Just like pizza in Korea isn't my flavor, Korean food outside of Korea won't be the same.

  • The country itself - Korea is a gorgeous country with so much to see and do. Don’t sleep on South Korea, people!

 

I've had a good run in South Korea. Who knows if I'll be back at some point in the future - lord knows I didn't know I would end up here or end up in the Middle East. Life has a funny way of working out just as it's supposed to.

 

Are you an expat or thinking about moving abroad for work or just general exposure? If so, how is the experience treating you? If not, what's holding you back?