Practically growing up in New York, working and living in New York City compared to teaching in Korea is definitely different.
Practically growing up in New York, working and lifestyle in New York City compared to teaching in Korea is definitely different. Breaking free from the stress and hectic lifestyle of corporate companies is one thing that makes teaching English in Korea worth it. Nonetheless, it was definitely great to go back and visit the old jobs, seeing how much or how little the city actually changed.
It was quite something to be such a tourist when I am actually a local. I know a lot of my friends were embarrassed to hang out with me as I was snapping photos of Soho, Times Square, 34th Street Herald Square, Little Italy, Lower East Side, St Marks and the many other places, but its definitely something to share with my family in Korea. I can't help to stress how much weight I've gained because of NYC. There's just so much good food around, so much that I missed and HAD to have before returning to Korea.
This includes but not limited to: Momofuku Milk Bar, Kungfu Tea, 16 Handles, Gotham Bar and Grill, Joe's Shanghai, Chikalicious, Wafels and Dinges, Sweet Sugar Sunshine, Ceci Cela, Rice to Riches, Rose Tea House, Ferrara Bakery and Cafe, Spot Dessert Bar, Bo Ky Restaurant, Ramen Setagaya, Luke's Lobster, Peanut Butter & Co, Oh! Taisho, Le Pain de Quotidien, Cha Chan Tang, and of course the HALAL CART! Yes, I am a fatty.
Being back in the Big Apple, I saw a lot of friends, old coworkers that are practically in the same place they were when I left. What does this mean? Although I have been gone a year, things haven't really changed much back at home. For myself, things have changed a lot. I'm able to gain a new perspective on the world, understand how it feels to live in Korea (even without fully understanding the language and culture), and grow as an individual. There are many things that I question to this day: What if I didn't leave, what if I worked hard in my old job, what if ... what if ... WHAT IF I DIDNT MAKE THE MOVE TO KOREA.
Well the answer is pretty much obvious. I would probably have a job, like my friends working 9-5 in a corporate setting, going crazy, stuck in my own cubicle. Better yet, I would be "enjoying" my time in meetings, working on strict deadlines and probably taking a lot of heat from others. Instead, I am now working with children, feeling more relaxed and actually enjoying the free time that I have outside of the job. Nothing beats working only six hours a day and making enough to last you for rent, utilities, spending, and even SAVING.
So what are you waiting for? Making the move or not? Renewing your contract or not? No regrets about my decision and trust me, I was contemplating quite a while before jumping on extending my contract. I signed a full year with my 3 month term break and wonder where life will take me next, another year contract? Who knows!
Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes. With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.
Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer!