Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's there to be scared of?

In my Korean Countdown, I only have 8 days left. That's right, I leave 1 week from tomorrow...

I think I have been doing myself a disservice recently. Of course, anyone I talk to wants to know about my trip. When do I leave? Am I nervous? etc. etc. I answer their questions, and recently my stance on the "nervous or excited?" question has been "a lot of both!" I also use the word "scared"... but why is that? What do I have to be scared of?

I am leaving my friends and family - well, yea... but growing up means leaving them anyway. And I'm lucky enough to have both friends and family who support my decision and want me to live my dreams. My mom is willing to FaceTime at basically any point during the day, and Michael has not complained once, always telling me he's proud. I'm very lucky...

I won't have access to modern amenities - in fact, this is not true. South Korea is extremely advanced technologically, and considered a first world country. Yes, things will be different (hello, wet showers!) but, I'm not going back to the dark ages.

I won't be able to communicate with locals - most of Korea is pretty English-friendly. The subway system is marked in Korean and English, many Koreans want to practice their English on you, and the culture is extremely hospitable. Even if they can't say the words, I'm confidant that most people I meet on the street or in the shops will make an effort to be understood. Furthermore, I will be working with other foreigners, we will all speak English, so that will be a relief.

I won't know anyone when I arrive - technically untrue. I've been able to get in contact with Tab, a girl from my hometown who is teaching in Seoul as well. She got there last week-ish, and has already been a big help on my packing situation. Also, I was lucky enough to sign a contract at a school who only hires awesome people. I know this because my recruiter put me in touch with Sean, another American who signed a contract to start at the same time as me, at the same school. We've been emailing, and he is awesome.

I can only pack so much - well, this is very true. And I'm still not sure what that looks like as far as quantities of items... my spare bedroom is my drop off point for "ooh, I'll need this!" moments. And, so far, I don't really have that much. I was smart enough to mail myself a few of my essentials that are on the bulky or heavy side (aka: mattress topper and towels). Currently, my suitcase contains clothes (duh), a few pairs of shoes, medicine, hair products, school supplies, and a few other this-and-thats.

I will be lonely - damn, this is true. I get lonely when my parents go to Baytown on Sunday afternoons and leave me at the house! But, my coworkers will be living in the same apartment building as me (including my buddy Sean), Tab will only be 2 subway express stops away from me, and I've got a checklist of things to do. I will have to force myself out of my apartment sometimes, but I know I will be glad I did. Plus, looks like Tab has already started exploring the bar scene and has found it to be good. I know she will make me go out!

I am the pickiest 22-year-old I know - I honestly don't know how I will manage a diet of kimchi (fermented cabbage) and seafood, but I must find a way. That way probably includes Amazon Grocery shopping for super sized packages of Mac&Cheese, but we shall see...

I won't get paid for a month, at least - I've done a fairly good job of saving for this rainy day month. I will definitely have to make and stick to a budget, but I think that is possible. My problems will probably come from wanting to eat out all the time, but Sean is excited about the cuisine options, so maybe he will force me into going native. PLUS my mom found some good websites where I can find secondhand furniture or other things I might need. It looks like I can get a lot of things for pretty cheap! This is bueno; I like a deal!

I've never taught before, and I'll be responsible for lots of children each day - well, no, I've never taught. And no, I don't have any idea what I'm doing. But, something like 200,000 teachers come over to Korea to do this, each year! (Okay, I made that statistic up, but it is a large number...) so, if all those other people can do it, I sure can. I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty awesome ;) Plus, education is in my family... and, my dad lent me some books. Ha!

I'm a certified princess - Well, I never thought I was until the prospect of moving somewhere where Western comforts were at a premium came about. Like I mentioned before, I was diligent in researching the culture, and found a creative solution to my problem (IE: mailing myself the mattress topper and towels). If there are other things I need, mom can order and ship to me :) Plus, I just KNOW that my loyal fans and wonderful friends out there, reading this, will send me lovely care packages!! :P

It's a WHOLE YEAR - Actually, it's JUST a year. My parents have always told me that I can do anything, even things I don't like, if I can see an end in sight. A class I hated in college - "You can do anything for a semester", a position that gave me headaches and want to punch people I loved in the face (*cough, cough*) "You can do anything for a year"... you see what I mean. So, really, I CAN do anything for a year! (I just proved it in ZTA)

So, I guess my conclusion is, there's really nothing to be scared of. There's some initial things I am a bit nervous to get sorted (living in a motel for a week before getting my apartment, actually getting my apartment and figuring out how good or bad it is, etc), but all in all, I chose a great country, and a city that is particularly Westernized. I'm getting good money, and have a nice setup with my rent covered. I know I'll see my mom in November when she comes to visit, and Michael is looking at flights as we speak... so really, what's there to be scared about? My focus now is excitement...


  1. Awesome post! I'm so glad you are focusing on the excitement of it all now! It will be GREAT! - Mom
    PS I will FaceTime day OR night!

  2. OK for those of you who want to post a comment for Chelsea, type it in one of these boxes, and below, when you click the drop down box (Select Profile), choose Name/URL at the bottom so you can type in your name, then click the PUBLISH button. You'll have to decipher one of those letters things so that it knows you aren't a computer (I hate those) and then it will publish.

  3. Having lived in Japan.. i know you if you keep an open mind you will love it. It WILL take a few months to adjust. HELLO-- their culture is very different. BUT never give up... not matter what.. you CAN do THIS...the Koreans will just fall in love with a Texan Diva.. really....

  4. Excited for you!!!

  5. Finally subscribed! This is going to be an awesome experience for you. I'm so glad you've got a supportive family and that Michael is encouraging you. That will make this so much easier. I'm going to miss you! I wish I could have given you one more hug, even though I gave you five when we said good-bye.

    1. Chelsea,
      I know you probably only remember me from (1)pictures (2)from the things your parents might have shared with you, as you were so young when I used to baby-sit you. I just want to tell you how AWESOME that I think you are... and how excited I am for you!!! This is a great adventure, and I love your attitude about it. I just now had time to sit down tonight, look at all your recent post on fb, look at the recent photos, and catch-up on all your blog-post from start to finish. I am very impressed with how well organized & prepared you are for this journey. No doubt in my mind ~ You'll do GREAT!!! I know your parents are so very proud of you, and they should be. They have done an excellent job in "training up a child in the way "she" should go'... I love your family and I am so glad that God allowed our paths to cross. I am thankful that fb has allowed us to "keep in touch" through the years and will now allow me to follow your blog & your journey with you. Praying for safe travels for you & look forward to reading your stories from this chapter in your life. Take Care & God Bless. With Much Love ~ Donna


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