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Re: Do you find yourself happier in Korea?
« Reply #60 on: March 25, 2014, 01:32:16 pm »
I definitely don't feel happier than I was at home.
Money didn't have anything to do with me coming here so the extra cash in my wallet is not incentive enough to be here.
I did hope to get some worthwhile work experience here, but I don't really think teaching in Korea has giving me any useful skills.
My co-workers are great and I'm very lucky in that respect, but I find it really hard to bond with Koreans because my outlook on life is generally very different from theirs.
I feel like my health has suffered a lot since I've been here too.
The poor air quality and lack of nature where I live have definitely effected my breathing, skin, and overall mood.
Korea has many positive aspects but for me it was a mistake to stay a second year.
I'm very much looking forward to going elsewhere. Only a few days to go!
Good luck to all of you whether you're staying or leaving. Hope you get the most out of your time here.

Re: Do you find yourself happier in Korea?
« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2014, 02:00:28 pm »
I'm somewhere in between.  I miss my friends and family and even if I have built a life for myself here, it's not the same.  I have accepted that I will never fit in here but that doesn't really make it easier when you are reminded daily.  I miss the anonymity that comes with being in a country and culture that I fit into both by looks and mannerisms.  So on a personal level, I'm not as happy here.
However, in the states it's impossible to get a job still so my prospects are bleak if I were to move back.  If you can't find a decent job it means working 2+ crappy jobs, living with family or multiple roommates to make ends meet, absolutely no spare time to do anything... so in that regard I am happier here.  Do not underestimate the power of financial stability.  I have my own apartment with a steady job that is easy and pretty low stress.  I don't have to worry about money or bills and I have the luxury of saving/paying down debt AND going out, eating out, shopping ect.  Most people my age wouldn't even dream about such things back home.  Many are still living pay check to pay check and pinching pennies to keep their lights on.
 So am I happier?  It's an even scale.  My personal happiness may be higher back home but it is evened out by the added stress of trying to make ends meet.  My personal happiness may be lower here but it is evened out by the financial freedom, free time to pursue hobbies and overall lack of stress.     

Re: Do you find yourself happier in Korea?
« Reply #62 on: March 25, 2014, 02:27:30 pm »
I really think your happiness starts with a.) why you came and b.) what your expectations are/were.  In my experience here, the people who are the most miserable mismanaged one of those two things (unless your school/hagwon sucks then there is not much to make you happy).

Me?  I have been generally happy here.  I came with a plan to be here one to two years, travel, maybe save a little.   I didn't have high expectations, so i was never disappointed.I was just going to enjoy the ride. Luckily, i didn't end up in a terrible school situation, which I think helped enormously. So, when I go home, I have this experience, good and bad. I met some cool people.  I'm fortunate enough to be able to be employed and head to grad school when I go home.

Not bad for a days' work.  Am I happier?  Nope.  I am however content and that is good enough for me.
You are never guaranteed happiness, only the right to pursue it.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get going!

Re: Do you find yourself happier in Korea?
« Reply #63 on: March 25, 2014, 03:17:15 pm »
Positives; My commute is much shorter, my medical insurance and doctors visits are much cheaper, and access to hiking is much easier. My students are funny and most Koreans I meet are wonderful.  ;D

Negatives: I miss the people I grew up with and the people at my old office. I want more than a 2 1/2 week stretch to see them. There is little room for advancement in Korea. I miss grass fields, tall trees and beautiful homes.  :sad:

« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 03:34:32 pm by deweybeach »