Caution: South Korea Thus Far

I could perfectly describe my Korean experiences so far in one word:overwhelming. That’s not to say it’s been bad at all-I’m learning and seeing new things every  day and that is, after all, what I came here for. But sometimes when the things that were so simple and easy back home-like getting a cell phone,swiping a bus card, or even getting home- takes so much extra time and effort, it’s easy to be exhausted. I also think I’m realizing that I’m going to be here for at least a year, which means I don’t have to rush anything.

How I Feel I Need To Be At The mOMENT

How I Feel I Need To Be At The Moment

When I was in Spain, I accepted every invitation and took every weekend trip I could because I knew I only had six short months-just a handful of school breaks- to see Europe. While a year can go by just as quickly, I’ve decided that I can ease into this transition. It’s okay that I didn’t KTX train to Seoul within the first month or that I couldn’t order a meal in Korean if I was starving. Being so new and having no idea what is going on or what I’m doing is an icky feeling, but it’s part of being a true expat. So, I embrace it.

I’ve come up with some personal goals to help me ease into this new experience. Maybe they can help others in the same situation.

5. Learn the Language

I’m starting my second week of Hangul classes. Fluency is too much to ask for; I’m just hoping to no longer be illiterate in Korean  by the end of it.

4. Stop focusing on “I”

I feel like I have too much time to think ponder the meaning of life, how I should know it by now, and every embarrassing moment since 4th grade. So, I want to find activities- like volunteering,yoga,freelance- to fill the void.

3. Build “Girl and Her Pink Backpack”

This is an amazing opportunity to travel so I want to see as much as possible and record even more for others to experience also.That brings me to the next goal…


On the weekends and during vacations , I want to see Korea and Asia.

1. Be comfortable with the process

I’m not going to learn the language overnight, be the perfect teacher by tomorrow night, or be up for every outing every time. That’s okay. I’m here-I’m going to take advantage of it. That’s all that matters in the end, right?

Oh, Korea. I will try!

Oh, Korea. I will try!

Do you have any tips for settling into a new place?

4 thoughts on “Caution: South Korea Thus Far

  1. My family and I lived on Okinawa for three years — moved there when I was 13, left at 16. It’s very difficult to get accustomed to a new place, especially a foreign country, but as you make friends, learn the language, and learn the culture, you’ll come to really like it! While we were in Asia, we also traveled to Beijing and Hong Kong. I’d recommend visiting those places — wonderful experiences! Good luck and have fun!

    • Wow, I didn’t know you lived in Japan too. I’m slowly but surely getting adjusted. This week was a really good week! I can’t wait to take your travel suggestions-I’ve wanted to go to Beijing for a long time.
      Thanks for all your advice!

  2. Yes, I remember all those feelings when I first arrived in Korea. Then coming to Oman was a different story altogether. Now at 1 1/2 years in Oman, I can finally say I’m used to how things work, but now I’m leaving. It’s good what you’re doing. Just enjoy it one step at a time. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s