I’ve been teaching in Korea for three years as I write this. I’m living what many people look forward to or can only dream about.
So many look for adventure after college and find Korea to be a great destination. Others, like myself, have decided to take a detour in life and live abroad while we still have the chance.
All of us, all of you, before coming to Korea or sitting at home as you read this looked at all the blogs and colorful HD pictures in them.
We watched the YouTube video adventures.
We looked at things that were related to what we were interested in, whether it be K-pop culture or things that would support our vision of what Korea is in our minds.
Living and teaching in Korea IS like what we see online. It IS how we imagined things before setting foot here. At the same time, however, it also IS NOT.
So, what is it like to teach English in Korea? After three years I think I can sum it up in one brief sentence:
Teaching English in Korea is life.
That’s it. You’re doing life as you would anywhere, but in the R.O.K.
You get up in the morning and drink a cup of coffee. Take a shower. Get ready and go to work. Teach. Eat lunch. Go home. Chat online all day. Grab a workout. Eat. Go to bed. Start the next day.
It’s been a fantastic experience for me on so many levels. I’ve realized a new direction in life with teaching ESL. I’ve experienced Korea first hand. I started this blog and my YouTube channel that helped me interact with many people around the world. And it’s given me a hope for things to come whether it’s here in Korea, in another country, or even back home.
Therein lies the rub.
When is it the right time to move on to those next phases?
I’ve been doing some ongoing chats through video with Steve Miller (aka QiRanger) called “KAM Chats”. It’s an acronym for “Korea And More”. Steve has been in Korea for five or six years now and seems to have come to a crossroad where he feels it’s time to decide what direction to take in his life with regards to teaching.
This type of move begs many questions and depends on many variables. It’s important to look at the situation from both the outside as well as your own perspective. You have to ask yourself where you want to live and do life, as I mentioned earlier. What role does money play in the equation and how much do you require to feel secure?
Did you go and get married while living abroad? This is a separate subject in and of itself. Some guys really look forward to meeting that woman of their dreams to settle down with, but it opens a whole new can of worms. I’m grateful at this time that I didn’t take that plunge here in Korea.
My current contract ends in February of 2015 which will mark three and a half years. I’m looking forward to finding out what my options are in the next six months. Where will I be after I’ve decided to move on?