Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…
Two years in Korea have come and gone like a breeze. It seems like yesterday that I was eagerly writing my first blog at San Francisco airport in anticipation of starting a new life-changing transition in Korea. Two years ago… Wow, time surely does… fly.
Time flies by, no doubt, and often without granting the opportunity to spread my wings and explore my thoughts. However, thanks to writing this blog, which essentially has acted as a diary, I can look back at what I’ve experienced and how I’ve subtly changed. So, what now? Is two years enough in Korea? Sure, the thought of trying some place new has crossed my mind from time to time, but to those who live and work in Korea would understand; it’s just one of those places that is somewhat hard to leave.
When I left the US, I knew that I’d at least be in Korea for two years, and from the look and feel of it all, I’d say I’m about half-time amid the teaching game in Korea. However, the possibility of extended overtime is forever plausible. Staying in Korea 5, 10, or many more years is totally possible, but I suppose it will all depend on life circumstances, close relationships, and God’s overall plan. If I meet someone special or if God simply wants to continue using me here, then I’ll stay without many qualms about it. However, even though I don’t hate Korea, I don’t exactly love it either. Like the Swiss, I sit rather neutral. With Korea there are many things that I greatly love and appreciate amid things that I loathe and daily tolerate; however, I think that’s with any place in the world. Some days tip the scale with things that I love and life is great, whereas other days the burden of toleration weighs me down so much that it usurps joy from deep within. Living abroad certain encapsulates experiencing the utter extremes – from supreme elation down to the abyss of despondency. Although, the great benefit of it all is that it continues to shape my character as well as grant unique opportunities around the world.
So as I initially plan to stay in Korea for at least 2-3 more years, what are my options/plans for the future? Well, as I previously mentioned, I’m open to stay in Korea for many years, however, I’ve honestly contemplated other options. Other options would include pursuing a Masters Degree in English, Spanish, Journalism, or TESOL/TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) back in the States within a few years, or pursue a higher English-Teaching certification such as a DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) which is duly recognized around the globe and would take about a year to complete through distance-learning and about 6 weeks of face-to-face time. Getting a DELTA would be by far the most versatile option considering my situation as I could pursue it while working full-time teaching in Korea. Moving back to the States, finding a place to stay, and then attempting to acquire a part-time gig substitute-teaching or working at a restaurant while taking on another college loan seems feasible, but I can’t really envision it at this moment. Although, while I’d like to get a DELTA, do I really want to teach English and live outside the US for many more years? This, I can envision, but do I really want to do this? I will be seriously contemplating this during the next 12 months.
And that leaves one other option I’ve slightly thought about, and that is going to Semanary Bible School in order to become a full-time missionary somewhere around the world. Becoming a full-time Christian missionary has been on my mind a little throughout the last few years, but I think I’d really need to strengthen my faith in God and profoundly know the Bible much more before I even consider it.
For my two-years-living-in-Korea anniversary, I met up with Ashley, whom is an awesome new friend I met roughly two months ago. Her and I have clicked really well and have had a good time on many occasions. She met up with me in Ilsan, where I just had the bottom half of my braces installed, and then we went to Spannew, which is one of my favorite little Italian restaurants in Korea. To my surprise and delight, she picked up the tab – what an awesome friend!
After having some awesome Italian food and sharing a bottle of tasty Chianti, we headed to a Makkoli festival that I randomly found out about the previous evening. If you are not familiar with Makkoli, it’s made by fermenting a mixture of boiled rice, wheat and water, which gives it a milky, off-white color, and subtle sweetness. Most makkoli is made solely from rice these days, but are also sometimes infused with other natural flavors and ingredients. Thus, with having many types of makkoli at our fingertips, we joyfully tried many to our delight.
After our fill of makkoli, we took a stroll through the Ilsan park and kindly chatted the afternoon away; it was very relaxing. Overall, I had a pleasant time chatting and hanging out with Ashley, and combined with a great lunch and the Makkoli festival, it made for a memorable day. ¡Gracias, Ashley!