My Decision to Leave Korea & Move to Another Country


I debated talking about this until closer to the time but you know what? It’s on my mind 24/7 so I have to just let it out.

For a long while, my plans had been to renew my contract in March and stay for a 3rd year. That was what I told my friends, my family, my colleagues, my students, and anyone else who happened to ask.

I reasoned that by the end of this contract year, I’d have paid off all my credit card debt so why not stay for a 3rd year and get a nice amount of savings?

There was no reason to leave. I mean, I’m pretty settled into my nice big apartment; I know where all my local markets and supermarkets are, how to send presents home, how to connect my Korean and British bank accounts; I have a ton of school holidays and am paid a nice amount every month.

I’ve got a good thing going here.

So why have I spent the last 12 months obsessively checking ESL job listing sites?

I reasoned that it was just interesting to see what was out there for when I leave Korea. It was curiosity.

But then I began to apply for some, just to see what would happen.

I even interviewed for a few.

And, all the while, I told myself that I already had the better deal here. Nothing was ever going to come from them.

It was all just a cute game.

And then I was offered a job.

Something big. Something different. Something exciting.

In a city.

A city that had everything I’d been missing … like live music, theatre, subways, zumba classes, multiculturalism, REAL vegetarian food … just crazy hectic city life that I crave and long for.

And the job?

Teaching. But not ESL.


Everyone in the city already speaks English so I’d be a literacy teacher to primary school children.

It was an opportunity for me to gain a new, fresh experience.

So I began to think about it.

A lot.

And the more I thought about it, the happier I found myself. I smiled every day at both the idea of moving to this city and the thought of leaving my current job. In fact, I hadn’t been this happy since last winter vacation, when I was away from everything.

Because, the truth of the matter is, I’ve been pretty miserable for the last year and a half. No matter what I’ve tried to do to improve things, I’ve never been able to pull myself out of this funk.

That is, until recently.

The idea of leaving Korea suddenly brought so much light into my life.

For the last year, I’ve been thinking about all the things I want to do when I leave. In fact, it’s all I ever think about.

I can never be here and now because my mind is in that post-Korea zone.

It was a pretty easy decision.

In March, I won’t be renewing my contract.

Instead, I will be getting on a plane and moving to …



I really couldn’t be happier with this choice.

I mean, look at some of the stuff they have, guys.

There’s a school for mermaids


And a Batman cafe!


And, no pressure, but this sounds promising:


Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to go into this job assuming everything will suddenly be sunshine and rainbows and I’ll never have a bad day again. Moving is hard so there’s bound to be a few bumps along the way. But I have a good feeling about this. A really good feeling.

The countdown begins.

I have 8 weeks left of school; 1 week of winter camp; 4 weeks of winter vacation; 1 graduation week; 1 week of deskwarming; 3 weeks of the new school year …

And then I’m gone.

On to the next chapter of my life.


(Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3)


20 thoughts on “My Decision to Leave Korea & Move to Another Country

  1. Ahhhh! Congrats lady!!! How exciting : ) really happy that your following your gut. I’ll most likely badger you through fb to find out more. I can’t wait to see your adventures over there. March will come before you know it. The end when there is one over there actually comes quite fast.


    • Haha Yup. That ending couldn’t come quicker. How did you cope? The anticipation is killing me. 😛 I see you have a new blog so I will have to go and stalk you again.


  2. Congratulations Ceri! The move and new job sounds really exciting. I hadn’t heard of that kind of job there before! Is it in a local school or international? That will come round really fast, I bet. I think two years is a good amount if time in Korea and now you can go and try somewhere new. I’ve heard so many good things about Singapore. The international school I taught at in Beijing opened a new branch there last year and quite a few people moved over. I think they are really enjoying it!


    • Thanks, Joella. 🙂 I know this school has branches in Malaysia and China. It’s kind of the equivalent of a hagwon – an after-school school. Kids go there for extra literacy classes to improve their skills for regular school.


  3. Just wrote a comment then my phone made me log into WordPress and delete it! Sorry if it ends up reappearing haha! Anyway- congratulations! I think you’ve made a good decision. It’s good to move on a after a couple of years, I think. I’ve heard lots of good things about Singapore. The international school I taught at in Beijing opened a new school there recently. Will you be working at a local school? Well, looking forward to following along for the rest if your Korean adventure and onto the new one!


  4. I have fond memories of Singapore airport. I was 21 (twenty years ago – gosh!) and on my first long-haul flight, stopping over on my way to a backpacking adventure in Australia. It was the middle of the night and I was feeling a bit disoriented but I began to relax as I listened to a live string quartet playing near where I sat. Much of the terminal seemed to be carpeted, so all in all it was very different to Heathrow. I didn’t have time to visit the actual city so my Singapore reminiscences must stop there. ‘The Economist’ did a special focus on Singapore fairly recently, which was quite an eye-opener – it’s not a place I’ve thought about much, other than the airport of course.
    Good luck with your move, anyway!


    • Haha, your Singapore experience sounds like my Malaysian one. I was at the airport for quite a while & spent most of the time in a nice lounge where I could shower and eat. Other than that I remember how hot it was and how easy it was to get around. ^^


  5. How exciting! Sounds like a great opportunity. Getting out of Korea really made me appreciate it, but Singapore will be awesome. Be sure to blog all about the hawker centers and take pictures of ALL THE FOOOD. (obviously I need to go there).


  6. Congratulations on your new move! You’ve done a lot better than me, staying for two years in Korea. I almost walked out 6 months into my contract. Korea just wasn’t for me. Look forward to seeing some posts on Singapore.


  7. Pingback: Reading My Own Damn Books | Not in the Pink

  8. OMG this is so exciting!! Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what you think about the place. It’s changed so much since I lived there in 2010, there was no mermaid school or Batman cafe back then…


    • I’m actually surprisingly calm this time around and more excited than anything else. I’m trying not to stress about everything and just taking each day as it comes, doing one thing at a time rather than try to juggle everything at once. When are you moving to NZ?


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