After graduating from college in 2014, Melody decided to explore new possibilities and moved to South Korea to teach English. We caught up with her to learn a little bit about her experience taking the risk.
Why South Korea? What made you want to take the leap to live in an Asian country?
I choose to move to South Korea for two reasons. First one being, during my freshman year of college, my roommates was from Seoul and after hearing how much she loved it – I knew I wanted to go one day. The second reason is because the benefits of teaching in South Korea are the best – dare I say – across all of Asia and Europe for someone with no prior teaching experience. I’m able to comfortably save for my future, pay off student loan debt, travel, and fully immerse myself in another country’s culture!
Have you ever been chased by a wild bore? What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you during your travels?
While in Thailand last summer, something pretty crazy happened – I got into a motor bike accident! After a full day of riding and feeling particularly confident – life swooped on in and humbled me. As I was going up a hill, I realized I was going the wrong way and needed to turn around. The only problem with that was that I was on a busy road. Suddenly, a van honked at me and what I thought was a queue to switch lanes caused the van to side-swipe me and send me flying across the payment. By the grace of God, I walked away with road rash and a new found faith in humanity. A bilingual Englishman saw the whole accident unfold and stayed with me translating conversations with the police and other drivers. My “why me?!” attitude faded away by the end of the night – after deciding that this makes for a great story (and road rash makes me look pretty tough too).
Should young people take more risks? Do you think our society encourages it enough?
I think young people should take more calculated risks – keyword being “calculated”! Or, another way to put it is yolo-ing responsibly. Traveling and truly experiencing life while young is something you’ll never regret and I think a lot of young people don’t do so out of fear – fear of going against the grain, of being unconventional, of “failing”. Our society encourages young people to commit to a career and work toward buying a house, etc. and while that works for some, if you feel like your being drawn another direction – take that risk, march to a different beat, and even if it all goes down in flames – it’ll make for a great story.
What’s the downside to your lifestyle?
For me, the downside to living and teaching in South Korea is being so far away from family and friends. While my life is progressing in a whole new world and I’m growing and experiencing new things daily – I have to remember that everyone’s life back home is also continuing to progress. It’s hard to accept that I’m missing some important moments but in the end, I’m so grateful for the life I live.
Melody graduated from college in 2014 and decided she wanted to try something new – like living and working abroad. She has been an English teacher in South Korea ever since. She enjoys yolo-ing responsibly, traveling, deep conversations, blogging, and trying new food often.