A Slight Change of Plans

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So, after a week of frantic document organizing and post office visits to get myself back on the road to South Korea, I’ve taken a 180 degree turn and emailed to say that I won’t be taking the job.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but after looking more closely at the job and then looking at my priorities, it just didn’t match what I wanted to be doing and where I wanted to be. In hindsight I realize that I panicked and accepted the job before I’d had time to give it real thought. It wasn’t in my desired region, was mostly teaching kindergarten students, and paid less than a teacher of my qualifications should be earning with more work than most private schools – but I was so excited to have finally had an offer come in that I blindly accepted.

It was more than just a case of compensation versus workload though. Lately, as my time in Australia with Fallon draws towards its end, I realize that I’m rushing out of the country before single Chris has a chance to experience it. I’d basically be getting back from Fiji, working for three weeks, and then jetting out again before I’d had time to get myself settled into life without Fallon.

Some part of me thought I needed to keep moving after the break-up to keep myself from getting upset, but there’s no reason I can’t keep busy here. I’ve got good friends here, a good job that pays well and has a great atmosphere, and there’s no reason I can’t pause between trips a little longer in order to orientate myself, save a little cash, and get accustomed to single life before I plunge myself back into the excitement of South Korea. It will (touch wood) still be there in March.

At the end of the day I want to get back to Korea, but I want it to be in the right job and when it’s going to be best for me. It may be a selfish way to think, but it’s my life and it’s the first time in a long time that it’s been solely mine – so I think I’m entitled to be that way.

What does that mean for my travels? Well – there’ll be no shortage of adventures in the near future. Fallon and I are taking a photography course in The Rocks for my birthday this weekend; I’m heading back home to take a look around the place I grew up through traveler’s eyes the weekend after; and then there’s that little trip to Fiji and New Zealand that I’m taking. And when I’m back in Australia? I’ve been contemplating taking some of that extra money I’ll be saving and seeing a bit more of this country I call home. A visit to Melbourne, a trip out to Tamworth for its famous Country Music Festival, and maybe one or two more Travel Tribe meetings.

In the interim I’m back to scouring the job boards and looking for something that suits me.

But didn’t this entry get serious?

It’s Monday and you don’t want introspection. There’s a whole working week ahead. What could brighten your day? How about some good reading?

My Google Reader is practically overflowing with entertaining reads, so from time to time I’ll share a few of them with you. This week I’ve selected three particularly good ones to pitch your way.

Happy reading!

whyGo Australia

I recently met Brooke at my first Travel Tribe meeting. This is a serious traveler! Not only has she taught in the Ukraine and seen more countries than I can count, but she maintains two blogs. There’s the more personal Brooke vs. the World and the one mentioned above. whyGo Australia is a veritable treasure trove of information for travelers in Australia. If you’re planning a trip to the land downunder (and if you’re not, why aren’t you!?), I’d thoroughly recommend a look.

yTravel Blog

Caz and Craig don’t need the plug, but you might just need their very entertaining blog in your list of daily reads. These two Aussies have been all over the world and show no signs of stopping. Their site is loaded with photos and travel stories and interviews, and they update it regularly – so you’re never going to be short of something to read. Another pair from the Travel Tribe!

Bongdam South Korea

A bit of a change of pace from the travel blogs, this one is purely about life as an ESL teacher in South Korea. I read quite a few blogs on the topic, but I really enjoy Hamish and his wife Amanda’s style. Hamish does a particularly amusing weekly food challenge in which he and his stomach do battle with some of Korea’s stranger convenience store snacks. Definitely worth a look, especially if you are giving some thought to giving the teaching gig a whirl.

And now… photos!

My adorable brother Izaak in his moleskin and Akubra for his visit to Korea
Me at Everland, South Korea's largest theme park
Silliness with friends at the aquarium in Busan

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  1. There will always be another job or another place to go mate. Save the dollars and find a job that’s going to be what you want. Nothing worse than getting there and not having the time to enjoy yourself.

    • Definitely true. I lucked out and stumbled upon a dream gig in Busan just a few days later – but haven’t gotten around to posting about it in here yet. Headed back in a shade over a month.

  2. Hey Chris,
    Looks like you’ve sorted things out a bit, and it seems like you’ve made the right decision. Something that’s worthy of you will come along… hang in there! In the meanwhile you’ve got some amazing adventures planned! I can’t wait to read all about them. πŸ™‚

  3. Plus, delaying your return means less savagely cold weather. I ended class early (with a class I enjoy) to have a ‘snowfight’ in their terminology. I’d have called it a snowball fight. But fun is fun. Not December and already an inch on the ground? Yah, hold out for that Aussie summer and be an Aussie on your Roads before heading back up North… erm, I mean South. It could be either. Does it count as a new country if I don’t change my location but I start to teach North Koreans English?

  4. Thanks for the plug. I shall add you to my blog roll too πŸ™‚ Everyone is telling us to get out of Korea at the moment, with all this North Korea tension but we are going to sit it out and continue teaching like there is no tomorrow. I can understand not coming back to Korea, we are just here to earn money and if it wasn’t so good we would be somewhere else by now. Good luck in your travels and we will read on with interest.

    • Oh, I’m definitely still coming back. It takes more than a little North Korean chest beating to scare me off. I just turned down that specific role because it didn’t suit me in. I’m already on the hunt for alternate positions πŸ™‚

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