Or, if you prefer—The Most Long-Overdue Post Ever.
I’ve been back in the US for about a month and a half now. The weather has been horrible and cold, so I fell into that special sort of slump that can only be brought on by an endlessly oppressive winter. Spring is slowly showing it’s sleepy head though, and I’m happy to finally be able to say I’m about to head off on my next grand adventure in South Korea.
Last time I wrote, I was still in Germany. I had a really lovely time hanging out with my sister. We made many trips to the German animal shelter, and I got to see a lot of cool things in Deutschland. We even made a day trip to Munich where we were lucky enough to meet up with my pal Kelly from my TEFL course. We had every intention of seeing the sights of Munich, but the day quickly devolved into a beer tour of Munich and everyone enjoyed it—especially Duck.
I received and accepted a job offer before I left Germany. I was returning to the US with plans to depart for South Korea in 10-days. It would be hectic, yes, but given the polar vortex I was excited to jam as much of my friends and family as I could into a small space of time and then get on a plane before the cold could really sink into my bones. Sadly, it was not to be.
When we landed in Chicago (after flying over the very white and very solid-looking Lake Michigan) and were waiting to de-board, we got the all clear to turn our phones back on. I was psyched to have proper phone service again (I’m limited to Wi-Fi outside of the US), until I opened the email telling me the teacher I was supposed to replace in Korea had decided to renew their contract after all, and I was out of a job. My 10-days in the US suddenly became… open-ended. Ugh. My first thought: What happens if I don’t get off the plane?
But I had people waiting for me. So I got off the plane.
I had several interviews in my first weeks at home, and had my pick of a few different jobs. The job I accepted is due to start March 31st (I was hoping to find one starting sooner, but given how long paperwork has taken to process I don’t think that would’ve been possible anyway), so the next several weeks were filled with lots and lots and lots of waiting—for contracts to be drawn up, for paperwork to go here and there, for Visa paperwork to be issued by one office and later be processed by another office.
Currently, my passport is with the Korean consulate in Chicago (presumably) having my shiny new work visa added. My recruiter* called me just last night to tell me she had spoken with the embassy and my passport will be ready for pick-up on Monday the 31st, but she’s trying to get them to have it done by Friday the 28th. I’ll have to pick it up in person and will more than likely get on a plane that same day. She said to make sure I’m packed, because at this point once my passport is done it’ll be time to go, go, GO!
For weeks people have been asking me when I’m leaving. I still don’t know. Sometime in the next few days, and that’s as specific as I can get. The American in me is a bit anxious and would really like to have a specific timetable to reference; the Traveller in me is content to crack a beer and wait for the pieces to fall into place because it is what it is, and there’s nothing I can do about it anyway.
I’m totally not developing a split personality. Right?
In between all the waiting and the paperwork, I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with my family and many of my friends. I could tell you about the places we went (let’s be honest—mostly bars and breweries), but in truth my words would fall short of adequately expressing just how much I valued the time I got to spend with the people I love. I’m so incredibly lucky to have these people in my life. I mean, look at them. They’re beautiful.
In addition to the Wisconsin shenanigans pictured above, I also took a short trip to see my rhyming-buddy Molly in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was only a few days, but I had an absolutely wonderful time and can’t wait until we can do it again.
I guess that’s all I have to say right now. I suppose this is the calm before the storm since my life is only days away from a massive, drastic change. I’ve been watching the weather in Seoul and it’s already been in the upper-60’s to low-70’s. I am excited about a lot of things, but right now nothing sounds better than being able to throw open my windows.
As always, lots of
not terribly patient LOVE from Wisconsin!
*A note on recruiters, for anyone considering working in South Korea:
I’m basically Goldilocks. I worked with three different recruiters over the last four months and I quickly realized that finding the right recruiter makes all the difference in the world. The first was horrible—never answered emails, and pretty much kept me in the dark about everything. The second wasn’t great—he was a little bit pushy, and listened very little to what I wanted and frequently recommended jobs that were nowhere near what I wanted location, pay, or benefit-wise. The recruiter I worked with the most, and ultimately accepted a job through, was absolutely wonderful and I would definitely recommend her. She was super enthusiastic and was in contact with me daily until I found and accepted a position that met with all of my personal criteria. If anyone is interested in working in South Korea I’d be happy to pass on her contact information. 🙂