South Korea Through Expats’ Eyes- Life Outside of Work

koreaHappy Monday Morning from Korea!

It’s a great day to be alive. This past weekend we visited a beautiful little traditional Korean village, did some hiking in another national park, and this morning Tom watched some of the Packer game before we went off to work (he loves football!)I like to think of it as the more tired you are on Monday morning the better the weekend was!

This week will call for some yoga, gingerbread house making, watching some Homeland, and some relaxing. Many of the questions I have been asked about Korea involve what our life looks like outside of work. While work is a big part of our life here (since we work 9-5 Monday to Friday) we take advantage of our weekends and our holidays. We look forward to the weekends when we can travel Korea and see friends too. Today, I have my fab 4 back to talk about- Life in Korea outside of work. I think you’ll find it interesting and hopefully helpful even if you don’t want to move abroad you’ll get to see a bit more closely what our life is like here in Korea.

Let’s start with Chloé from Canada.

What does a typical weekend look like? Do you work on weekends?

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Luckily I don’t work weekends, and I am a bit of a homebody so I do spend some time at home. The good thing about Korea is that transportation is so convenient so when I don’t want to spend the weekend home, getting around is really easy! Sometimes the bus schedules are a little weird but it’s nothing big.

Typically if I’m going to go away for a weekend, I will usually try to leave the Friday night so that I have the whole day Saturday to do what it is that I want to do. A lot of the time it will be a group of foreigners getting together to do something that is planned and coordinated where and when we will all meet. Sunday is usually the day when we head home.

If there are people who are homebodies like me, or don’t really like to travel too far, don’t worry there’s tons to do around. My first weekend here I climbed a mountain! Also there’s always some sort of event happening in a town not too far away.

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What has been your favorite thing to do in Korea?

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Definitely exploring Korea. A lot of people come here and use Korea to travel to the surrounding countries, which is perfectly fine and a great way to see so many parts of the world, but many people don’t take the time to appreciate the amazing things that Korea has to offer. This country is filled with an incredible amount of history and beauty, and I would suggest taking the time to go exploring!

 

 

 

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 What does a typical day (after/before) teaching look like? 

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We are both early birds and fitness lovers so we get up at 6am every morning and usually either go for a run or go to gym. If we gym, then we shower and eat a packed brekkie there before heading off to school at 8am.

For the first half of the year, our evenings were such a special time for us, as for years we have had so much on our plates that seldom have we had nights alone at home together. But as my business has got busier and busier, I have taken on more and more clients and am now currently coaching every week night so I tend to only get home between 7 and 9pm every night. Hendrik gyms after school and then spends most his evenings at home waiting for me to get back. We try our best to eat a cooked meal together at home every night but more recently my schedule hasn’t been allowing for this, but this is very-much a short term thing. We see friends every Friday night and often have close friends round for dinner or pizza on our roof.  Weekends are us-time, we do long runs together, we hike and we travel!!!

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What do you do outside of work?

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On the weekdays, we lead pretty normal lives. We cook dinner, watch our favorite TV shows, clean the house, go grocery shopping, work out, meet up with friends, etc. However, on the weekends we are able to explore Korea, thanks to our car (and Tom and Elicia’s ride, as well) ! We love to get outside, so we have spent almost every weekend hiking. This country is crazy beautiful!

 

 

 

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Next up on Wednesday will be- Dealing with loneliness while living abroad & we’ll finish up the series with tips on moving abroad. It’s been a blast reading through their responses to the questions and my hope is that it’s useful information for those who may be thinking of moving abroad and also informative for our family/friends back home to get a closer look at what our life is like over here in Korea!

If you’re just joining us for the series click the highlighted words below to catch up!

Day 1- Why Korea? Why did these lovely ladies choose to move abroad to Korea?

Day 2- Teaching in Korea. The ins and outs of what it means to be a public school teacher in Korea.

Day 3- Finances in Korea. What do our finances look like as an expat teaching in Korea.