Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Let the adventure commence...

As I sit here looking at the amount of possessions I have laid out across my bed, ready to be popped into my suitcase at the last minute, I think about the ‘to do’ list that I made several months ago. Things such as getting my documents together, booking flights and generally sorting out my life were on it. The packing part of things never really came into it, well until this week. 

 Where to start?!

Packing for four different seasons and especially seasons that I am not use to, is slightly annoying. I am told that the weather in Korea is similar to England but EXTREME. So I will still see the 4 different seasons, but the Summer will be very hot and humid (with a rainy season chucked in for good measure), and the Winter will be freezing cold and full of snow. The Autumn and Spring are apparently the best seasons as its not too hot and not too cold, but who knows. There is only so much you can read in books and on the internet. 

My baggage allowance according to the internet, my ticket and a Turkish customer service advisor on the phone, is 30kg. This seems like quite a lot, so I am prepared to expect some sort of confusion and denial of this amount at the airport. Although I am hopeful that all will be well, as I’m pretty sure I have packed up to the limit allowed. My flight leaves at 10.20am on Thursday morning...just 2 days away. I will be flying out from London Gatwick, and I have a connecting flight in Istanbul that will take me to my final destination of Seoul, South Korea. 

Arriving in Seoul I am to meet the Director of the school, who will then take me to my one bed apartment which I think is about an hour or 2 away from the airport. Although much of this is speculation as I may be taken to the school to start training immediately, but I’m not quite sure. You can not physically prepare for absolutely everything in this venture and with much of this, you have to just go with the flow. This has been quite a difficult thing to come to terms with as I am usually quite organised and like to know pretty much everything beforehand. I guess what I am trying to say is that it’s help me to chill out quite a lot, which is always a good thing.

This final week at home with my family in Brighton (and ofcourse the lovely Angmering) has been marvellous. Its been so great to spend this valuable time with my family and to say my final goodbyes to everyone. They have all been so supportive and I am going to miss them all so much. Genuinely I couldn’t have done this without their love and support over the last few months, of which I am truly thankful for. This whole process from start to finish has taken about 9 months (long enough to have a baby I hear some of you say). This includes taking the TEFL course, joining the agency and basically everything up until now, but I guess this is where the real adventure really begins. So lets start with how I mean to go on, with embracing everything that comes my way and just simply, saying YES to life! 

Here's to the Journey ahead!

POST SCRIPT: If you do not hear from me for a few days after I arrive in Korea then don’t worry. It just means that I have been unable to find an internet connection...either that or I’ll be too busy throwing delicious Kimchi and Dog down my throat to think of anything else. Jookes, I will of course let you all know that I have arrived safely as soon as I can. My UK mobile number will cease to exist after Thursday so if you want to contact me then please do so over Facebook or email. So for now, until my next post which will be from the wonderful Korea, I’ll say goodbye. Goodbye my friends, goodbye my family and goodbye to the good ole UK. 

To be continued...

Saturday, 21 February 2015

5 Days to go...

So here I am, a 29 year old unemployed single female living with her parents - hold on a minute...what’s wrong with this picture?! Oh yeah...EVERYTHING! Don’t worry though folks, its only for one week! Not that there is anything wrong with living with your parents and being unemployed at 29 - I joke...OFCOURSE THERE IS!

So far I am enjoying my time at home with my lovely family, but I am extremely emotional and I do keep on breaking out into tears at random intervals. Someone only has to mutter the word ‘Korea’ or ‘Kimchi’, and I turn into a wailing mess on the floor. Get a grip Sal...I hear you all saying under your breath. It’s a weird feeling and I can’t quite place it. I feel a mixture of sadness, excitement, nerves and worry, along with an overwhelming sense of adventure and loss, all at the same time. One minute I’m up, and one minute I’m down. It’s all quite bizarre to be honest.

So let me share some rather exciting news that some of you (that know me) will be absolutely thrilled to hear. I hope you’re all sitting down...here it is...after years of pretending to be The Ice Queen from Disney’s Frozen, even before Disney’s Frozen was released...I have finally...BOUGHT A COAT! That’s right guys, it happened. SuperDry (where else) came to my rescue and as I was reminded by my sister of the daunting temperature in Seoul at the moment, I thought ‘well heck -7 is pretty chilly, it’s probably time’ - actual quote. Earlier today, I also started assembling my belongings ready for the big pack! DREAD!

Packing is a task that just has to be done, not enjoyed, just done. I am pleased with my progress so far, but I still feel as if I have many many things left to do, or perhaps many more things to throw away. The week before I left London I managed to throw away even more of my belongings in hope to feel some sense of, well anything really. When in reality, I just felt totally numb. So I guess it was inevitable that at some point, I would crack, and on my last night in the capital, this was exactly what happened. Since returning home to Brighton, it has 100% hit me...oh wait, I’ve just given up my entire life to teach Drama to kids that won’t understand a word I am saying ...and on the other side of the world no less. Sure. Why not.

It’s impossible to think of anything reasonable right now, so I try and keep myself busy. It's also important at this time to be reminded of some of the simple things, like some of the many quotes that people have shared with me over the last few weeks. So with that, and as Departure Day edges itself closer and closer, I will leave you with all I can really leave you with. One simple quote that sums just about everything up...

Sunday, 15 February 2015

My last few days in London...

On the 15th November 2008 I packed up Mum and Dad’s car with a few of my most treasured possessions, and headed to the big smoke...London town. Moving to London was something that I had always wanted to do just for one year, and so I left everything I knew, in search of everything I didn’t, and now 6 and a half years later I find myself still here, but still here and saying goodbye.

I never expected to stay this long and that was mainly because (at the time) I didn’t really know anyone in the capital, and didn’t really understand what this London malarkey was all about. I was a naive 23 year old that was looking for some sort of adventure, and believed that I’d find it here. I think its safe to say that after many highs and lows but mainly highs, the capital city has certainly delivered that adventure I craved, and I can now 100% call London...my home. 

I have met some of the most fantastically bizarre people here, and I have had some of the best experiences of my life. The London Underground has never failed to amuse me, and the abundance of festivals, events and attractions has kept my calendar booming with excitement and energy all year round. The mahoosive selection of culture, cuisines and of course the diversity of the people, has allowed me to be exactly who I am, and with that I have found acceptance in others and in myself. Memories have been made and life long friendships have been formed, and I hope that one day I will return to this wonderful city. Because lets face it....

Saying goodbye to this place has been difficult to say the least, and I don’t think I had truly appreciated how fortunate I have been here, until now. Seeing the people I have come to call my family in London for the last time at various leaving doo's and other occassions has been incredibly emotional, but I know that through the magnificent invention of the internet and in particular Skype, I will still see and talk to them all regularly. And this my friends, is a promise.

So, as I sit here in London for the last few days, saying cheerio and remembering the good times, I wonder what my next city of Seoul in South Korea will bring. I wonder how long I will stay, and what memories I will make. What people I will meet, and what things I will learn. But one thing is for sure, I will never stray too far away, from that crazy little town of, Londonian.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


Someone once told me that if a promise isn’t kept then it isn’t really made. Good advice until you realise that you’ll never really know if any promises are indeed kept, until, well until they’re kept. I feel this sense of hopelessness about a lot of things at the moment. The school in Seoul have made several promises, all of which I hope they keep, but I won't know that until I get there, see the apartment and of course teach what they promise me i’ll be teaching. Drama.

The director has promised that she’ll meet me at the airport... but what if she doesn’t? The internet has promised me that ‘South Korea is a beautiful country with a rich history and culture, and a wealth of attractions’ - their words not mine... but what if it isn’t? My friends and family have promised to stay in touch the best they can and I truly believe they will, but it’s a constant worry as to what I will be returning too.

People move on, people change. I’ll change. I already have but I hope that people will change with me. I don’t know when i’ll be returning but I hope whenever it is, things won’t be too different. I have an overwhelming feeling of missing that I just can’t shake off. Missing out on things like Birthdays, Christmases, Weddings, Anniversaries, and just general outings to the local public house. Missing out on the English country side or the city life. Those moments when a spec of snow hits the ground and public transport completely shuts down. Or those moments when the
temputure rises above 15 degrees and the shades and shorts suddenly appear as if they were just waiting in the hall way, hung up with the rest of the coats and umbrellas, ready to throw on at any given minute.

But most of all, everyday I feel the bewildering emotion of missing people. My family, my friends, the people that I see day in and day out. Its a feeling that I’ve never experienced before, and I almost feel as if I’m about to become a missing person that was once there so apparent, but now just a distant memory of somebody else's life.

This sounds extremely dramatic, but it’s okay because I am aware of this. I’m not sure if anyone can really understand this missing feeling unless they have been through it themselves. Moving to a different country, so far away from the life I lead (and the life I love to lead) is by far the scariest, saddest, but also most exhilarating thing I have ever done before, and I know that i’ll be a better person for it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t realise how hard it would be to leave people, to leave familiar places that I have come so accustom to, and to leave, well just to leave, everything.

But I guess that’s what makes an adventure...an adventure! So let’s crack on, and as the popular shoe brand of Nike once said... 


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