“A lot of those tend to blame Korea rather than themselves, ignoring the fact that many of us are able to thrive here.” -Robert Mathew Adamson
Essay by Robert Matthew Adamson
One of the first people I met when I got off the plane, so many years ago, told me, “Asia is great – you can reinvent yourself here.” I can’t say for sure if that is what I’ve done, or even what I set out to do, but I know at the time the idea of it was quite appealing. It might not be necessary to desire an all-encompassing life change in order to want to come here and teach English for a while, but if you are in the mood for that you can get it here. My proximate motivation, however, was financial – I had been an ESL teacher in America and the package I was being offered at that time was much better than anything I could find either at home or most other countries. There was never any intention of staying so long as I have and making the place my home, but this is what has happened. Not everything that has happened has been wonderful, but most of it has been interesting, and continues to be after a dozen plus years in Seoul. It’s not for everyone, and I’d guess a fair percentage crash and burn and perhaps more will leave with bitterness after year or two – and a lot of those tend to blame Korea rather than themselves, ignoring the fact that many of us are able to thrive here. At this point, I have no plans to go back to America except as a tourist. The expat life suits me, so it would seem.
To read more stories and thoughts of those who decided to teach abroad after 30, please click here.