송파구, South Korea

I AM MOVING TO SOUTH KOREA. Cue dancing, cue loud 2ne1 music, let’s go!

In a few short weeks I will move from quiet suburban USA to Seoul, South Korea. Before you ask, yes I am definitely nervous, but I am mostly excited.

If you’ve followed my blog when I created it, you’ll know that this is not my first excursion abroad. However, this will be my first attempt at living in a country where the primary language is not English. It’ll be a huge adjustment, but I desperately hope that immersion will help me learn this amazing language. (Seriously I’m in love with the alphabet, it’s so awesome).

I am also pretty lucky in that I am not going into South Korea with absolutely no exposure to the culture, food, and language. That is not to say that I know a lot, but I’m not going in blind.

If you know me in real life you might know one or both of these things: 1. I have wanted to go to South Korea since at least middle school, I just didn’t know how to go about it. and 2. This process was stressful (and it still is, because of course visa things never move quickly).

Every step of the way I have to consider the big picture. Every difficulty made me ask myself, ‘How badly do you want this?’ and ‘How much control are you willing to sacrifice for this adventure?’ More than I realized, for both.

Don’t worry, I’m not just running off to Korea without a plan, I applied for a position to teach English in a school, and I got it. So, woohoo, found my reason to go. Ultimately, I feel that I am in a place in my life where every question asking ‘Why?’ is answered with ‘Why not?’ and who am I to deny this strange sense of adventure I apparently have. Plus, everything worked itself out so nicely this summer when I got a temp job that ended just before a trip to Austin, Texas.

In reality, graduating from college is hard. I have student loans to pay off, and the field I’d like to work in is so tough to enter. So why not spend some of those beginning years out of college doing something completely different? I’ll still be working, still earning money, and I won’t feel trapped in a suburban bubble (no offense to the lovely environment I grew up in, but it’s not exactly right for me at this point in my life).

Galway, Ireland taught me a lot, and I grew as a person during my time there. I learned what it felt like to be an Irish resident. I adjusted to a culture different from my own. Trust me, Ireland is far more different from the US than I’d like to acknowledge.

I hope that my time in South Korea (a year at the very least) will bring on an understanding of a culture different than my own. I hope that I learn to speak some Korean, and I really hope I can ride the subway without an issue. I hope that I grow as a person again (but with less drama, please) and that I can learn more about myself in relation to a new job, and a new environment. I hope that this experience will help me understand my future goals better and that I can move forward with a new confidence about my own direction.

I am very lucky to have this opportunity, and I know I will not take it for granted. These next couple weeks may be some of the most stressful weeks of this year, but I know I can do it, and that accomplishing all that I set out to do will make it all the more worthwhile.

If I know you personally and you’d like to receive a postcard or a letter, feel free to contact me and I’ll get something sent your way.

Wish me luck!

Dara

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2 thoughts on “송파구, South Korea

  1. Congratulations and best of luck!! I have always loved the Asian cultures and languages myself, especially the kung fu shows on Saturday mornings! I can picture you coming back and your lips not matching the words coming out of your mouth, LOL!!

    Have a safe trip and definitely send post cards!

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