Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Things to do before moving to KOREA!

So now I have all of my documents sorted, my visa finally obtained and my flights finally booked, I guess that’s it right? I can just go now right? Not quite! I still need to think seriously about the things I need to do before I leave the country. So, I thought I’d write a little post about it, because in some respects this part of my journey is just as important as the rest.

There are many things that I have to consider when packing for Korea and of course its not just the packing that I need to consider. Certain things need to be done first. For example, I need to cancel my phone contract...oh wait, what’s that? I’ve already done it? TICK! Next I need to think about contacting my bank and letting them know that I’m leaving the country. I can also assign someone to gain access to my account/look after it if there are any problems while I am gone...Thanks Mum!

After I have done this, I then need to contact the tax office, pension company and government to inform them of my departure so they don’t get confused when i’m suddenly on the missing persons list of whatever government run database they have for workers in this country. It all sounds a little bit complicated but in reality its just a phone call or 700. Easy right? I’m not too sure, but I guess i’ll find out soon. 

Recently I have been thinking a lot about the actual life I will lead over there. Even dreaming about it, but mainly day dreaming about it. I sit there, and I just think. Not just about the potential friends I will meet, or the job that I will be performing (how do you teach again?) but more in fact, about just what it will be like to walk down a street in Seoul and take in my surroundings. On my own, in a place so far away from home, just walking down the street, taking it all in. I wonder what I will see and what I will experience. How people will react to me. What my senses will sense and what other peoples senses will sense in me. Its an interesting thought that I am looking forward to thinking about some more and then eventually putting in to practice. 

But until THEN, let the day dreaming continue...am I awake yet? I’M AWAKE! 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Annyeong haseyo Korea!

So since I announced my news to the world, it has been an emotional few days. I think that’s because I have finally realised that this is actually rather real. Handing in my notice at a job that I actually really enjoy was very difficult, and then telling people was even more so. Every time I walk down a street in London, or meet up with friends old and new, it makes me realise how much I am going to miss it all. It might sound dramatic, but that’s probably because it is dramatic. I know they’ll still be here when I get back, but I guess I have that overwhelming feeling of thinking...well, what if they’re not.

Things change, people change, I’ve changed. I mean if you had told me a year ago that I would soon be giving up my life in the UK and moving to the other side of the world to teach, then I probably would have flicked you in the forehead and said...

...Oh come on! It's a classic!

A lot can happen in a year so I guess what I am trying to say is that I am going to miss it, all of it. I don’t expect things to be the same when I return, how can they be? But I will endeavour to keep in touch with you all and not let things go stale. I guess that’s what I am most worried about if truth be known. So please text me, Skype me, write to me, send carrier pigeon if you really want, and I will do the same. Oh, and if anyone wants to come visit then they’ll be a cold, cockroach filled floor just waiting for you, or a king sized four poster bed with a small mini bar filled with treats (probably the former) Awkward!

At this point I thought I’d mention something other than how I am feeling in this post...because if you’re not going through the same thing and you don’t actually know me then quite frankly, it's dull. So, here’s some useful resources that I have recently found during my time leading up to my departure. Check them out:

Also be sure to go and see your doctor about what jabs you may need. It's different for everyone, but for the record, here in England I needed Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and a Tetanus booster. I may also need to take Malaria tablets but that one is up for debate.

I hope that’s helpful for anyone thinking of making the same move. For me, it has all happened so quickly. I took the TEFL course just to see what would happen, and I passed. Then I joined a recruitment agency just to see what would happen, and then I got a job. I then signed a contract and got my visa approved, you know, just to see what would happen, and here I am after all of those months of just seeing what would happen... seeing what is actually happening, and its happening... I’m moving to Korea. Without much of a thought of what i’d actually be faced with at the end, I am now at the end and I find myself very much here, wondering how I got here and wondering what will happen next - well I guess we’ll just have to see - so lets see, what happens next...

  Annyeong haseyo Korea!!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

IT’S OFFICIAL! I’m moving to South Korea!

Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. Apologies to all of you, I have been extremely busy actually sorting out my life! I also didn’t want to post anything online before it was official so let me start this post by saying... IT’S OFFICIAL! I’m moving to South Korea! It doesn’t feel real and after the last couple of months of interviews, visa applications and pure chaos, I can’t believe I am actually saying this all, but it’s true... 

'Somebody's life's about to change' - Jack Dawson Titanic 1997

I’ve always wanted to use that quote about my own life and now I can! SCORE! So it all started at the beginning of December when I had an interview with a school in Anyang, Seoul (over Skype of course). It went really well and I got the job! The best thing about this school is that they want me to focus on the Drama side of things, which means it isn’t straying too far from what I actually want to do, which is fantastic. I’ll still be teaching English of course, but hopefully I’ll also be writing plays and putting on little shows with the kids too, so it’s all quite exciting.

My new City! A Street in Seoul...well, every street in Seoul!

The job itself is from 9.30am - 6pm and I will be teaching Kindergarten and Elementary at a ‘Hagwon’, which is a private school in Korea. My apartment (where I’ll be living on my own - eek) is apparently 1 minute from the school and I’ll be the only foreign teacher there. Obviously I’ll know all of this for sure when I actually arrive. Sometimes you have to take a bit of a risk because you can never know absolutely all of the information for sure, until you actually get out there and see it for yourself.  This is definitely one of the many things I have learnt through this process.

Gyeongbokgung Palace (about 40 minutes from where i'll be living).
It has been a roller coaster ride of emotions over the last few months and I can honestly say that at times I wanted to forget the whole thing and stay in England. I love my Job and of course my family and friends, and leaving London has been such a difficult decision to make. In some respects I wish that I was running away from something as it might make the whole process easier, but I do know (or at least I hope) that this is the right thing for me to do now, and I am looking forward to it immensely.

The thing with packing up your entire life and moving to the other side of the world on your own, whilst starting a career you’ve never really done before, is that actually, it’s rather daunting. I didn’t really want it to be as daunting as it is, and I genuinely expected a feeling of liberation to hit me like a thousand knives at any given moment, but so far it hasn't, however I guess this was to be expected. I’ll just have to wait until I arrive in Korea for that overwhelming feeling to kick in (or not as the case may be). Who knows, all I know for sure is that I have my Visa in one hand, and my tickets in the other, and I’ll be jetting off to start this new chapter of my life on 26th February 2015.

So, if you want to see me, talk to me or just generally throw things at me, then now is your last chance folks. 6 weeks to go...

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