Preparing for Korea


I have approximately 6 weeks until I begin my new life in South Korea. I’m battling bouts of sheer exhilaration and anxiety thanks to various blogs, YouTube videos and Facebook groups. I’ve been carefully soaking in the experiences of others and trying to anticipate what mine might be like. In the process, I have come up with a few things that I must do before I leave US soil.

1.  Start taking vitamins ASAP! Long gone are the days where I’ll be teaching civilized adults in a cushy university setting. I’m going to be an elementary school teacher. That means lots of interaction with really cute, but disgustingly germy, little humans on a regular basis. My immune system needs a head start if I’m going to stand a chance against them.

2.  Spend quality time with my family. When I moved back home almost 2 years ago it was the first time I’d lived near my family in about 13 years. It has been wonderful attending gatherings, football games, jump rope competitions, and catching up on the quality time that I’ve missed. Welp! That’s quickly coming to an end as I’ll be a 14 hour flight and time zone difference away come March. I’m trying to get in all the hugs, kisses, and photo ops I possibly can now. As a bonus, I also have to figure out how to make a long-distance relationship work. Pray for me, blogland.

3.  Learn to read Hangul and say a few basic, but useful, phrases in Korean. I’ve found an awesome illustration by Ryan Estrada to help me learn the Hangul characters. For those of you too lazy to click…

Source: Ryan Estrada
Source of all illustrations: Ryan Estrada

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I will also be using the lessons on Talk to Me in Korean and a series of YouTube videos to teach me some basic phrases.

4.  Pack. I have signed my contract and am impatiently waiting for my visa appointment. I also don’t have a plane ticket yet. What does this have to do with packing? Absolutely nothing… in theory. The reality I live in, however, is that it won’t feel real until those things happen. And, until those things happen, I will not begin packing. Foolish? Possibly.

5.  Get my affairs in order. No, I’m not dying or anything, but I will still need to maintain a few things stateside while I’m gone. Surely, a 14 hour time difference will make for some complicated business interactions so I’m trying to get as much done as I possibly can before I leave. For example, I will continue to pay off debt from student loans and my credit card, temporarily loan my car to a family member and figure out the insurance logistics, find a bank that will allow low cost international wire transfers, designate a power of attorney to handle things on my behalf, and a few other financial/ legal things.

Lots to do! I suppose all of this would be accomplished much quicker if I got off the internet and handled my business, huh? Fine, fine. I’m going…


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