I'm home. Phew. That was a long flight.
I'm ecstatic to be home. Everyone said it would be weird and strange and that reverse culture shock is a monster, but honestly it's been pleasant so far. Perhaps it is because my family has been amazingly supportive, I have so many friendships to catch up on and a few babies to meet (New people arrived while I was away!), and I am super busy networking and job searching.
home sweet home
I have a few more words to post about living and teaching in Korea (Check out my blog in the coming weeks.) and I hope to create a new post-Korea blog soon (Any ideas are welcome!), but I wanted to give a shout-out to The Arrival Store (Check them out.) for making my Korea departure just a bit less hectic. Back in 2011, when I was preparing to move to Korea, I found TAS to be a valuable resource for making my expat transition a smooth one. TAS sent me comfy pillows and a plush mattress pad along with a transformer to keep my computer powered and my unruly hair tamed with a beloved straightener from home.
I also, after a handful of other new teachers recommended it, bought a smart-phone through TAS. As many of you know, acquiring a mobile phone in Korea can be tricky and can sometimes involve a long period of waiting. My new TAS phone was delivered immediately and was easy to use. While other friends were phone-less and relying on I don't know what, telekinesis? to make plans and navigate Korea, I was texting, chatting, and downloading awesome apps that made adapting to life in Korea a piece of kimchi cake. I found the bills easy to pay. I could walk up to any ATM and with a few pushed buttons I was set. When I decided to stay in Korea for an extra term of teaching TAS told me it was no problem and included directions in an email for my future departure.
When the time came to leave Korea (tear tear) I started making lists and boy those lists were long. I packed up my Korea life and said goodbye to some amazing people. TAS made my departure so easy because I was able to hold onto my phone until the morning of my flight. It was too easy! I simply put the phone in an envelope and shipped it back to their Korean office. I didn't have to go to a store or fill out crazy forms. When my phone reached TAS hands my final bill was calculated and then the remainder of my original phone deposit was put back into my PayPal account. Score: Money I forgot even existed was now mine again!
So all in all I can give you a lot of advice about moving to Korea (Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.) and my single most important piece of wisdom is: GOSH, JUST GO! But my other advice is to check out The Arrival Store. I'm all for making things easier. I promise life in Korea is easy and fun and gorgeous and TAS can make it that much more convenient.
1) Soju: If it's offered, drink it.
2) Learn *some* Korean.
3) Smile and love Korea.
4) Know Chincha.
5) Make friends on SHG trips.
& HAVE FUN!
Devan Meserve, a New Hampshire native and St. Lawrence University alum, decided that after two successful post college years living and working in Boston she was primed for exploration beyond the East Coast. With encouragement from friends and family and Aclipse’s expert advice she landed an instructor position with Chungdahm April English. Devan is loving life in Uijeongbu: she is continuously impressed and entertained by her young students and spends her free time following Anthony Bourdain’s advice, “I’m a big believer in improvising and getting lost.”
Check out her blog!