Sunday, July 22, 2012

Korea, We're Coming Back!

It’s been officially confirmed, Andrew and I have been placed in Gyeongbuk Province to teach English in South Korea!

“What?! You’re going again?” That’s the exact reaction we’ve both received from pretty much everyone we know. And our response is always. “Why not?”
After our whirlwind year teaching in Ulsan, South Korea from Aug 2009-Aug 2010, we were exhausted. We worked more hours than the average public school teachers, and we were ready to kick-off our Southeast Asia backpacking adventure. Sure, we knew we would miss our time in Korea, but we didn’t anticipate missing it that much

We came back to the USA in October 2010, and both secured jobs and places to live by the early part of 2011. It had begun. The American dream of “grownup jobs,” 401K’s, bills, future planning…etc. It has been a great year and a half since we’ve returned to our cushy bubble, but great just isn’t good enough anymore. Andrew and I were definitely bit by the travel bug and our typical American vacation allotment just wasn’t going to allow us to scratch that itch.Let’s fast forward to February 2012. During one of our usual nightly walks, the idea of returning to South Korea was brought up. Not seriously, but in a more “wouldn’t-it-be-great-to -live-the expat-life-again” sort of way. We then continued to talk about it, reminiscing in old memories. These talks occurred on a more regular basis until we decided that we were actually going to go through with this again.

Leap of faith...get it?
All it takes is a leap of faith and a commitment. A commitment to each other, a commitment to your school to fulfill your contract, and most importantly a commitment to yourself. Andrew and I love to travel. We love to explore, we love to try new things, get lost in foreign lands, meet people who couldn’t be more different than we are, and learn from them. We have committed ourselves to following our passions and dreams. Traveling is a passion, so we have taken another leap of faith, left everything behind, and we are once again heading to the 'land of the morning calm.'

We knew the application process was tedious and time consuming, but we didn’t anticipate the frustrations that we went through being that this was our second time around. Here is the shortened version:

We found a recruiter - we applied - the recruiter told us we were too late since we hadn’t started our background check yet ( in 2009 the background check took two weeks, now it’s an FBI check and it took 12…) – not to be discouraged we applied with EPIK directly – we passed the interview – we waited on our last document (background check) that we had to have in order to officially apply with the Korean Metropolitan Office of Education – we continued to wait – we involved our congressman to speed up the process – this failed – we still waited – 12 weeks later it arrived – we sent it off to DC to be apostilled – then we waited – and waited – four more weeks – then we finally mailed off everything – then we waited for a placement –we waited – we waited – then we waited some more. Seven months after the process began, we were finally placed (and not too far from Ulsan).

So, in a matter of one month’s time, Sarah was involved in a car accident (not her fault) and totaled her car, we quit our jobs, we are getting married, honeymooning in Mexico, moving me out of my apartment, and we are moving to Korea (again)! Whew…that is way too much life change for anyone!

Stay tuned for the next chapter in our lives as newlyweds in Korea...again!