A little under two years ago we left Oklahoma and everything we knew for something completely different. From the planning stages to today- to (probably) the end of our stay in Korea, we’ve heard many of the same phrases and sentiments repeated. Most of our family and friends understand why we are here and really support our adventure but it’s as painful for them as it is for us. Sometimes comments are made hastily without much regard to how they might be perceived, so we thought we’d take a moment to discuss some of the phrases repeated the most and lend our perspective to the mix. It’s sometimes easy to assume that our own feelings are universal and we often forget that our decisions are as much as a mystery to others as their choices are to us.
“When are you coming home to visit?”
It may seem like we travel a lot, but what many people don’t realize is how expensive it is to go home. For example, our recent trip to the Philippines cost us a twelfth of what is would have cost for a flight to the states. It’s not that we don’t miss you! We have bills and budgets and have to make ends meet too. So, let’s Skype! We can still see you and talk to you, and you probably underestimate how much these video chats mean to us!
“When are you going to get a real job?”
Who says this isn’t a real job? We go to work from 8-5 everyday, we have meetings, schedules, and we get paid. The fact is, we make more money and have more benefits now than any job we’ve had in the states. Just because it’s in a different country, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a real job. Just as you would congratulate anyone for landing their dream job, celebrate our lives and how happy we are!
“You are so lucky!”
This one has also come from some of our co-teachers here in Korea. Luck has nothing to do with it. We put in a lot of hard work, research and planning to be here. We’ve also made a lot of sacrifices. We don’t have our families with us or the comforts of home. However, it was a choice we made, and we don’t regret it!
“I promise to come visit you.”
Many people entertain the idea of boarding a 15-hour flight to come see us, and we wholly support that prospect! But sometimes life gets in the way. Things happen, financial situations change. It’s understandable if you can’t come visit. It does hurt sometimes, but we just want to show you why we moved here! We want you to see why we fell in love with this place. We want to see you!
“When you are moving home?”
This one is said the most often to us, and we understand why. You miss us, you love us, and you want us to be a part of your lives. Trust us when we say, we feel the same. The truth is, though, we don’t know when we are coming back. It’s not that we are running away from the real world, we are simply on a different path. All we ask is for your love and support.
We really hope that the tone of this post is not misconstrued! We simply want to share our feelings with you! Everyone perceives the world differently and not all who wander are lost.
-Ryan and Stephanie