#Korea Week 1 – How I’m Preparing Differently

Whoo, happy Easter to all the Christian readers I have! Sorry, this is like a day late for it to be “Week 1,” but I’ve been crazy busy with online work and getting things ready before I leave for Chile! I haven’t done a ton towards preparing for Korea this week beyond turning in my official JLP Application on Monday. My parents have officially put our house on the market, so things have been topsy turvy and I’ve made myself a day office in my nearby Starbucks and Panera (not a lot of local coffee shops in the ‘burbs).

So I thought in this post I’d talk about how I’m preparing a little differently than I did the first time I left. There are a few very different things this time around than there was last time, namely:

  1. My life leading up to the big move was a lot more stable. The months leading up to Korea in 2014, I was extremely focused on making it there from the minute I graduated to the minute I boarded my flight. I had a part-time job at a store in my nearby outlets, my house wasn’t up for sale, I spent most of my free time at the gym (best elliptical motivation– TV Shows), and I only really traveled once to see my friend in Pittsburgh and another friend in Washington D.C.
  2. I felt a lot more urgency. Origianlly I didn’t know the exact date I’d be in Korea for the longest time. All I was told was “September,” which made me think September 1st. I was thus scrambling to get through the seemingly never-ending paperwork. Instead of mailing anything in, I physically went in person to NYC, Harrisburg, and Washington D.C. (you’d think for being the first capital of the country, Philly would have a little more to it).
  3.  I just didn’t really know what to expect. Everything from what to wear to school, what the weather would really be like… I mean I didn’t even know the town I’d be living in.

Anyhow, things are a lot different, and I feel much more prepared heading to Korea this time around. Here’s a little look at how my next few months are going to be:

Paperwork. 

I’m planning on mailing in a lot more than I did before, but I also would still like to visit each of the cities again anyway. However, instead of rushing in and rushing out, I think I’ll plan a few days to enjoy them.

Packing. 

I’m only planning on packing my carry-on suitcase and the suitcase I left Korea with the first time. I’m planning on putting together a more tightly controlled capsule wardrobe for each season (I tried the first time and failed miserably) and bringing summer and fall. Based on what I brought back from Korea, I’m guessing I need to pack two decent sized boxes for my parents to send once I have my address. Instead of haphazardly helping my mom over the phone with sweaters or coats I want, I’m just going to get the boxes right away and have them all ready to go. I also know now the kind of items I definitely know what random items I want to bring with me (the purple Listerine mouthwash, deodorant, lasagna noodles…)

Travel. 

I’m going to be traveling a lot the next few months. Let me break it down in bullets because I still can’t quite wrap my head around it.

  • Rest of April: I’ll be in Chile. I come back, have a day of rest, and then I’m going with my family to the March of Dimes walk.
  • May: After Mother’s Day, I’m driving down to North Carolina for the half marathon I convinced my two friends to sign up and train with me for. As long as I can finish the race (which is capped at 3.5 hours), I’ll consider it a win! But I’ll be with them for about a week, and the most likely the day after I’m driving to the Raleigh Airport for Nepal! I applied for a press trip a while ago, and found out I had been accepted before going to be one night. I was so surprised I thought it was fake for a few hours!
  • June: I come back from Nepal the first few days of June, and then I have a few weeks until my cousin’s wedding festivities. June is actually probably the most stable month right now, though I’ll probably be planning my NYC + DC trips for then depending on the timeline of getting all my paperwork.
  • July: This could also be a quiet month, though my friend, Natasha, and I were discussing a little trip together depending on what our workloads look like. I’m also planning on visiting my friend who just moved out to Wyoming for at least a week or two. We’re planning on trying to be outdoorsy!
  • August: I fly out! Ideally, I’d like to get to Seoul a few days before I have to be down in orientation, this way I can rest and do some work before I get wrapped up. I’m actually currently working through the logistics of an extended road trip that could bring me from Pennsylvania to California while also hitting Wyoming and a few other places I’d love to see, but that’s also still in the early stages… However, if I could, I’d start somewhere in July and end in L.A. before flying directly to Seoul! We’ll see, we’ll see.

I’m pretty knackered right now! I’m working on a checklist of all the paperwork you have to go through in order to finally land a teaching job in Korea with my own experience of doing everything. I know most recruiting companies will have their own, but I figured I’d break it down even more.

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